Water Polo Sets Preseason Program History
BRIDGEPORT, Pa– On January 12, 2022, the Collegiate Water Polo Association announced its 2022 Women's Varsity Preseason Polls, where Sun Devil Water Polo checked in at No.4– the highest preseason ranking in program history. This comes after placing third in the NCAA Tournament in 2021, and ending the final polls ranked fourth.
The previous program-high was a fifth place spot which has happened five times before, and most recently in 2019.
2021 yielded four All-Americans in the maroon and gold, and Arizona State returns two of them– Amira Van Buren and Luca Petovary– to the roster this season.
The Sun Devils added a talented group of freshmen to the roster in Stevi Griffin, Bianca Becerra, Vanda Baksa, Marie Rudasics, and Molly Ostrowski. Emily Bennett, a graduate from San Diego State has also joined the squad this spring after ranking ninth in points and steals in the NCAA last season.
new year, same us ??
clocking in at the highest preseason ranking in program history ?? pic.twitter.com/tNAbR3wxaq
— Sun Devil Water Polo (@SunDevilWP) January 13, 2022
Water polo is set to open the season at home in the Cross Conference Challenge held at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center, where Michigan, Fresno State, California, and UCI come to town Jan 21-23. Both Michigan and Fresno State were in the NCAA Tournament last season, and the Wolverines fell to the Sun Devils 9-5 in the quarterfinals.
All four teams of those teams coming to Tempe are ranked top-10 in the preseason polls, California with the highest ranking at No. 5 after receiving just one less vote than ASU in the polls. UCI holds a slight edge at No. 7 over Michigan who is ranked No. 8. Fresno State checks in at No. 10 after losing 16-9 to Stanford in the NCAA Tournament.
The Cross Conference Challenge opens up the 2022 season which is highlighted by 14 home games.