Stanford men's water polo was tabbed second in the 2013 MPSF Preseason Coaches Poll, the conference announced Tuesday morning.
The Cardinal earned four of the nine first-place votes from the conference coaches and a total of 60 points, being edged out by five-time defending NCAA champion USC, which took five first-place votes and a total of 61 points to claim the top spot.
Pacific (47 points) and the tandem of California and UCLA (41 points each) rounded out the top five slots. UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State, UC Irvine and Pepperdine fell into the 6-9 spots, respectively.
Stanford reports to campus this weekend for preseason practice and opens the 2013 campaign Sept. 7-8 at the Brown Invitational in Providence, R.I. The Cardinal's home opener at Avery Aquatic Center is slated for Oct. 5 against Santa Clara.
The Cardinal boasts four returning All-Americans from a season ago on its 2013 roster in junior utility Alex Bowen (first team), sophomore driver Bret Bonanni (first team), redshirt senior two-meter Forrest Watkins (honorable mention) and freshman driver BJ Churnside (honorable mention). Bonanni led the team with 73 goals in 2012 followed by Bowen, who netted 64.
In goal Scott Platshon returns as the team's No. 1, while Conner Cleary returns in a two-meter role and driver Paul Rudolph aims to return after sitting out the entire 2012 campaign due to injury.
Along with a 12-man incoming freshman class that includes USA Junior National Team member Jackson Kimbell and fellow USA Water Polo participants Reid Chase and Connor Stapleton, the Cardinal will also debut a quartet of redshirt freshmen in USA Junior National Team member Adam Abdulhamid, Troy Barnhart, Griffin Bolan and Adam Warmoth.