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ASU water polo ranked among nation's best


January 13, 2010

The Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) released its first national rankings for women’s varsity water polo today and Arizona State University was voted to the No. 8 position in the poll of collegiate coaches. The ranking marks the second year in a row that the Sun Devils will enter a season ranked No. 8 nationally after earning the same placement to open the 2009 campaign.

Coming off a 13-15 season last year and an eighth-place showing in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), the Sun Devils round out a Top 8 that features all members of the conference with Stanford, USC and UCLA occupying the Top 3 spots. No. 4 Hawaii, No. 5 California, No. 6 San Jose State and No. 7 San Diego State join the Sun Devils in a Top 10 that is rounded out by No. 9 UC Irvine and No. 10 Michigan.

The Sun Devils, who played 22-of-28 games against ranked foes in 2009, will open the 2010 season with a trio of games against nationally ranked opponents when they travel to Irvine, Calif., on January 30. The Sun Devils will open with a 9 a.m. PT game against No. 17 CS Bakersfield before playing No. 16 Long Beach State at 1:45 p.m. PT. The day of three games closes at 5:45 p.m. PT when ASU plays the host Anteaters (No. 9).

ASU, who ended the 2009 season ranked No. 10 in the final CWPA poll, will have its top scorer returning this season as junior Lynlee Smith is coming off her first year with the program in which she scored a team-high 65 goals. Smith also led the team with 90 points and earned a place on the ACWPA All-America Honorable Mention team.

Smith also was one of four players that competed for their national teams at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome, Italy. Smith and fellow Sun Devil Dana Harvey both competed for New Zealand and helped the team, which was coached by ASU head coach Todd Clapper, to a 12th-place finish. Smith scored seven goals in six matches while Harvey played in the cage in three matches. Mariam Salloum helped Germany to a 10th-place showing by chipping in two goals in her six appearances while newcomer Sarah Harris was the leading scorer on the South African side as she tallied eight goals in five matches.

2010 CWPA Women’s Varsity Top 20 - January 13
1. Stanford
2. USC
3. UCLA
4. Hawaii
5. California
6. San Jose State
7. San Diego State
8. ARIZONA STATE
9. UC Irvine
10. Michigan
11. Loyola Marymount
12. CS Northridge
13. Hartwick
14. UC Davis
15. UC Santa Barbara
16. Long Beach State
17. CS Bakersfield
18. Santa Clara
19. Indiana
20. Brown