Stanford Tops Fourth-Straight Coaches' Poll

2017 NCAA Champion Stanford
Jan. 5, 2018

2018 MPSF Women's Water Polo Coaches' Poll

Defending NCAA Champion Stanford placed on top of the preseason MPSF Women’s Water Polo Coaches’ poll for the fourth-straight year and eighth in the last nine, collecting 22 points and four first place votes. Winners of five of the last seven NCAA Championships, the Cardinal returns a pair of 2017 All-Americans in Makenzie Fischer and Jordan Raney along with 20-goal scorers Kat Klass, Madison Berggren and Katie Dudley.

California finished second in the poll with 20 points and one first-place vote. Three-time All-Americans Dora Antal and Anna Illes are back for their senior seasons. Antal enters the year with 197 career goals and needs just 20 to become the program’s all-time leading scorer. Emma Wright also returns from an All-American season as a freshman.

USC along with defending MPSF Champion UCLA, tied for third in the poll with 17 points apiece. The Bruins picked up the remaining first place vote. Leading scorer Maddie Musselman is back for UCLA, coming off a program freshman record 69 goals and a team-high 48 steals. She was a first team All-American, MPSF Newcomer of the Year, and a conference record seven-time MPSF Newcomer of the Week winner. Goalkeeper Carlee Kapana is also back after her first full season as a starter, named 2017 All-MPSF Honorable Mention and to the NCAA All-Tournament First Team. The Trojans, meanwhile, have several All-Americans on their 2018 roster, including Brianna Daboub and 2017 NCAA All-Tournament selection Maud Megens. USC also holds the rare distinction of having two All-American goalkeepers sharing the cage in Amanda Longan and Victória Chamorro.

Arizona State picked up nine points to place fifth. The Sun Devils return key contributors in Maud Koopman, Bente Rogge, Alkistis Benekou and Lena Mihailovic (2017 All-MPSF second team). They will rely on star goalkeeper and last year’s first team all-conference honoree Mia Rycraw to anchor the defense.

Rounding out the preseason poll is San Jose State, as Honorable Mention All-MPSF selection Klaudia Paradi is the team’s top returning goal scorer (23). Senior goalkeepers Katelynn Thompson and Tayler Peters both return.

First sprint to the 2018 season is January 13, before the first of 15 total MPSF Conference games kicks-off on March 3. The University of California is this year’s site of the MPSF Championship Tournament (April 27-29), where all six teams will compete for a conference title and entry to the NCAA Tournament (hosted by USC; May 11-13). Since the inaugural season of MPSF Women’s Water Polo in 1996, the MPSF has captured all 22 national championships.