The Stanford men's water polo team was selected third in the preseason Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Coaches Poll it was announced Wednesday.
The Cardinal received 13 total points, including two first-place votes, to place third in the poll. Defending NCAA champion California and last year's NCAA runner-up USC, tied for first in the poll with 13 points. UCLA collected nine votes and Penn State Behrend totaled four votes to round out the preseason poll.
Stanford, which ranked fifth in the final 2016 Collegiate Water Polo Association national poll, returns all but four members from last season's roster. The Cardinal's top seven scorers from last season return, including All-Americans Blake Parrish (48 goals) and Cody Smith (37 goals).
In addition to its top seven scorers from last season, Stanford welcomes back redshirt seniors Reid Chase, Drew Holland, Jackson Kimbell and Connor Stapleton.
The four did not see action in 2016 after starting for the Cardinal in 2015. Holland, Kimbell and Stapleton each earned All-America honors in 2015.
Freshman Ben Hallock, who redshirted last season after competing with USA Water Polo in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, will also make his Cardinal debut this season.
There are a lot of similarities between Hallack and Stanford grad Tony Azevedo. Both were Olympians before they played a game for the Cardinal and both were highly-regarded recruits.
Stanford completed the 2016 season 13-8 overall, finishing fourth in the MPSF Tournament in Los Angeles at the end of November.