BRIDGEPORT, Pa. – The Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) unveiled its preseason poll Wednesday evening, ranking the Navy water polo team at No. 20. Additionally, the Midshipmen have been projected to finish second in the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC).
According to the CWPA poll, the Navy team will face a rigorous schedule this season. The Midshipmen are set to compete against eight teams that are either ranked or received votes in the initial CWPA rankings. This lineup includes the two-time defending national champion and top-ranked Cal Golden Bears.
Fordham University, which received a preseason ranking of No. 15, is expected to retain its title as MAWPC champions. The Navy Midshipmen and George Washington University are neck-and-neck, predicted to tie for second place in the conference. Bucknell University has been picked to finish fourth, while Johns Hopkins University is expected to round out the top five in the league.
The Navy team will kick off its 2023 season with a five-game California tour. This starts with participation in the Triton Invitational, hosted by UC San Diego, from September 2-3. The Midshipmen will begin the tournament by facing Cal State Fullerton on September 2 at 12:15 p.m. ET, followed by a match against Biola University later that day at 6:45 p.m. ET. To conclude the weekend, Navy will challenge a pair of ranked adversaries: No. 9 Long Beach State on September 3 at 11:00 a.m. ET and No. 11 UC San Diego at 3:00 p.m. ET.
The California trip will culminate in a high-stakes match-up against the No. 1 ranked Cal Golden Bears in Coronado, California.
The Navy team, which is evidently not shying away from taking on formidable opponents, seems poised to use the early-season California games as a litmus test for their potential in both conference and national competitions.
This preseason ranking and the forthcoming tough schedule underline the Navy’s ambition to improve on past performances and aim for higher achievements in collegiate water polo. With the Midshipmen set to face a variety of highly-ranked teams right at the beginning of their season, the stage is set for an intriguing and competitive year in water polo.