Jovan Vavic has USC in position for yet another championship run
Aug 20, 2013
2013 MPSF Men's Water Coaches' Poll
USC narrowly topped Stanford 61-60 in points and 5-4 in first-place votes in taking the 2013 MPSF Men's Water Polo Coaches' Poll. The Trojans have won an unprecedented five straight NCAA Championships, during which time they are 38-2 in regular season MPSF games. USC returns five All-Americans from last year's undefeated team, and four of its top-five scorers, led by national player of the year Nikola Vavic. He shared for the conference lead with 83 goals in his junior season. Stanford returns four All-Americans, led by first-teamers Bret Bonanni and Alex Bowen. Bonanni scored 73 goals as a freshman, ranking third in the conference. Projected to make the largest leap in the standings this year is the University of the Pacific, collecting 47 points for third-place, coming off a sixth-place tie in 2012. MPSF Player of the Year Balazs Erdelyi totaled 83 goals, leading the conference with a 3.46 per game average. Also back for the Tigers is Goran Tomasevic, a three-time All-American before his 2012 redshirt season. Tying for fourth in the poll with 41 points apiece was UCLA and California. The Bruins return four starters, led by all-conference honoree Paul Reynolds (1.33 GPG), while the Bears welcome back five All-Americans. Collin Smith leads that group, averaging 2.65 goals last year and finishing fifth in the MPSF. UC Santa Barbara placed sixth with 28 points, followed by Long Beach State (23), UC Irvine (12), and Pepperdine (11). Opening weekend of the 2013 season is September 7-8, while MPSF Conference competition begins September 29 when Stanford visits Pacific. Stockton, Calif. is this year's site of the MPSF Championship Tournament (Nov. 29-Dec. 1), before the NCAA Tournament takes it to Palo Alto, Calif. (Dec. 7-8). Since its inaugural season in 1992, the MPSF has captured all 21 NCAA titles in men's water polo.