The preseason coaches’ polls for the Golden Coast Conference were released on Thursday, and the Fresno State women’s water polo team is projected to finish fourth in the conference in just their second season as a program.
Polls have Fresno State slated behind reigning GCC champion University of Pacific (48 votes, 5 first place votes), Loyola Marymount (43 votes, 2 first place votes) and San Diego State (38 votes), while the Bulldogs received (29 votes).
Last season saw the Bulldogs finish their inaugural season with a record of just 7-18 (3-4 GCC), with a sixth place finish in the Golden Coast Conference championships.
The program has much to look forward to as the Bulldogs return 10 letter winners this season, which include their top two scorers and All-GCC selections Callie Woodruff and Emily Nicholson. Nicholson is coming off a stellar season garnering multiple honors including Co-Newcomer of the Year and an AWPC All-America selection.
Another player to watch is burgeoning goalie Madelynn Garcia who returns as the Bulldogs primary goalie. Garcia finished the 2018 season with 132 saves and a team-high 25 steals. The Bulldogs bolster their roster with eight freshman for the upcoming season.
“We are excited to get year two of the program rolling,” said head coach Natalie Benson. “And have a very competitive schedule ahead of us. While I’m honored that our conference peers see us moving up in the ranks, we have to prove it through our play.”
The Bulldogs will begin GCC play hosting Pacific in the Fresno State Aquatics Center on March 23, 2019 at 12 p.m.