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Hawaii second in BWC preseason water polo poll

Jan. 16—The Hawaii women's water polo team was ranked second in the Big West Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll on Monday and sophomore center Bia Mantellato Dias was voted to the All-Big West Preseason Coaches' Team.

One of the eight Big West coaches gave a first-place vote to the Rainbow Wahine, who totaled 42 points in the poll. First-place UC Irvine received five first-place votes to lead with 47 points.

Hawaii and UC Irvine finished last season in the same positions. The Rainbow Wahine went 6-1 (21-6 overall) to claim second place behind the conference-leading Anteaters (20-7, 7-0) in the regular-season standings. UC Irvine later beat UH 10-9 in overtime in the Big West Championship final.

Mantellato Dias kicks off her sophomore campaign with the Preseason Coaches Team nod after earning both Big West Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors last year. Mantellato Dias finished with a team-best 82 goals in 151 attempts as a freshman. She scored 15 hat tricks in 27 matches and was named to the AWPCA All-America second team.

The Rainbow Wahine, who are tied with UC Irvine for fifth in the Collegiate Water Polo Association preseason poll, will kick off head coach Maureen Cole's 13th and final season at the Polo-Palooza hosted by Fresno State on Saturday. The Wahine take on Michigan at 7:30 a.m., before facing defending national Champion Stanford at 4 p.m.