League preseason No. 1 for the seventh time in last eight years
STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford collected 33 points and four first-place votes to top the 2017 MPSF Women’s Water Polo Coaches’ Poll, which was released by the conference Wednesday.
It’s the third consecutive year and seventh in the last eight that the Cardinal has been the league’s preseason pick.
USC was tabbed second with 30 points and one first-place vote, UCLA was third with 28 points and one first-place vote and California was fourth with 23 points and one first-place vote. Arizona State, San Jose State and CSU Bakersfield rounded out the poll in spots five through seven.
Stanford finished 23-6 overall a season ago, its 12th straight campaign with more than 20 wins, and advanced to its seventh consecutive NCAA title game.
The Cardinal was ultimately was unable to collect its third straight national championship, but will have an experienced roster with a wealth of firepower as it looks to reclaim the crown in 2017. Stanford returns seven of its nine 20-goal scorers from a year ago, including All-Americans Jamie Neushul, Jordan Raney, Kat Klass and Dani Jackovich, along with All-American goalkeeper Julia Hermann.
Added to that group are a pair of Olympians in Maggie Steffens and Makenzie Fischer. Steffens, who was the 2015 ACWPC Player of the Year in her most recent collegiate season, returns to The Farm after collecting MVP honors in Rio and captaining the United States to its second straight Olympic gold. Joining her is the freshman Fischer, who deferred her enrollment at Stanford one year and logged seven goals for Team USA at the Olympics.
Goalkeeper Gabby Stone, a two-time All-American, is also back for her senior season with the Cardinal after taking off the 2016 campaign to train with the United States Women’s Senior National Team.
The Cardinal opens its season at the Lou Strong Invitational hosted by San Jose State at West Valley College Jan. 14-15. Stanford plays the Spartans (9:30 a.m.) and UC Davis (2 p.m.) on Saturday, Jan. 14 and has an exhibition with UCLA on Sunday, Jan. 15 at 8 a.m.
2017 MPSF Preseason Coaches’ Poll
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