The 2012 men's water polo season kicks off this weekend and the preseason poll have come out, and the coaches attempt to predict who finishes where. The WWPA coaches predict Loyola Marymount to win the league, but it is going to be close. They earn seven of 12 first place votes with the other five going to UC San Diego, so the race for the title is going to be close. Even projected third place UC Davis or fourth place Air Force could be in the running for the WWPA title.
LMU gets the nod because they are an experienced team that brings back six seniors including 2011 All-American Jon Colton as well as the 2011 WWPA newcomer of the year in Joe Ferretti who also led the team in scoring with 41 goals.
UC San Diego is the defending champions and they will have a say in winning the league title as they return seniors Brian Donohoe and John Butler who was a first-team all-conference member last year.
Donohoe, who was a second-team All-WWPA selection, has 84 career goals and will be the Tritons' primary offensive threats. Butler is UCSD's No. 2 returning goal scorer after putting up 33 scores last fall while earning a team-high 43 assists as well as 26 steals.
Here is the coaches preseason poll:
1. Loyola Marymount - 116 points (7 first place votes)
2. UC San Diego - 114 (5)
3. UC Davis - 100
4. Air Force - 91
5. Santa Clara - 84
6. Pomona-Pitzer - 69
7. Claremont - 58
8. Redlands - 56
9. Whittier - 36
10. Chapman - 34
11. La Verne - 20
12. Occidental - 14