Water Polo ranked No. 23 in preseason poll

San Diego State opens its 2024 season at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Invitational from Friday to Saturday, Jan. 19-20 in Fullerton

Friday, January 12, 2024
Women's Water Polo
Women's Water Polo

The San Diego State water polo team has garnered a No. 23 ranking in the Collegiate Water Polo Association's 2024 preseason poll, which was released from the organization's offices in Bridgeport, Pa.
The Aztecs, who finished last season with a No. 22 ranking, are one of four Golden Coast Conference (GCC) programs to appear in the preseason poll. The other three GCC programs which are ranked going into the upcoming season are Fresno State (No. 9), Pacific (No. 16) and LMU (No. 18).

Among the 11 ranked opponents on the Aztecs current schedule are No. 1 Stanford (March 9), No. 7 Long Beach State (Feb.10), No. 8 Princeton (Feb. 18), No. 9 Fresno State (March 16), No. 10 UC San Diego (April 21), No. 15 Indiana (March 9), No. 16 Pacific (March 23), No. 17 Harvard (March 10), No. 18 LMU (April 6), No. 20 Wagner (Feb. 18) & No. 21 CSUN (March 8).
San Diego State completed head coach Dana Ochsner's inaugural season 12-19, including 4-3 in GCC play, and competed in the third-place game in the conference's season ending tournament. SDSU returns GCC All-Freshman Team honoree Claudia Valdes who last season led the Aztecs in shots (112), goals (49), points (81) and steals (40). Her 32 assists ranked second on the team and 21 exclusions drawn were the third most among SDSU players.
The Madrid, Spain native was tied for the leading scorer among freshmen in the GCC and ranked No. 10 overall, while leading the entire league in steals. Her 2.9 points per game, were again tops among the league's freshman, and No. 9-ranked among all players in the conference. Valdes' 1.4 steals per contest were the second most in the league and tops for all freshmen. In league games only, she led the conference freshman in goals (15), assists (11) and points (26) and was ranked No. 7, No. 3 and No. 5, respectively, among all GCC performers in those categories.
Valdes recorded nine games with at least three goals, including a single-game high five versus Concordia, and nine games of multiple assists, of which she twice had a season-best three assists. In 13 contests she recorded multiple steals, with three games of four steals each.
San Diego State opens its 2024 season at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Invitational from Friday to Saturday, Jan. 19-20 in Fullerton, Calif. SDSU plays Westcliff (12:30 p.m. PT) and host Cal State Fullerton (7 p.m. PT) on Friday and then face La Verne (9 a.m. PT) and Cal State Monterey (2:30 p.m. PT) on Saturday.
2024 Collegiate Water Polo Association Preseason Poll
1. (T) Stanford
1. (T) Southern California
4. California
5. (T) UC Irvine
5. (T) Hawai'i
7. Long Beach State
8. Princeton
9. Fresno State
10. UC San Diego
11. UC Davis
12. UC Santa Barbara
13. Michigan
14. Arizona State
15. Indiana
16. Pacific
17. Harvard
18. (T) LMU
18. (T) San Jose State
20. Wagner
21. (T) LIU
21. (T) CSUN
23. San Diego State
24. Brown
25. (T) Marist
25. (T) Ponona-Pitzer
25. (T) Biola

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