Rebels Favored To Repeat
Sept. 16, 2010
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV men's swimming and diving team, six-time defending conference champions, were picked to win a seventh-straight league title, while the Rebel women were ranked fourth as the 2010-11 Mountain West Conference preseason coach's polls were released by the conference on Thursday.
The UNLV men collected five first-place votes and a total of 25 points to capture the top spot. BYU earned 18 points for second place while Air Force was close behind with 17 points to claim third. Wyoming landed in fourth with 16 points and the last remaining first place vote. Utah finished with eight points to rank fifth, while TCU closed out the poll in sixth with six points.
Senior Kier Maitland, two-time MWC Swimmer of the Year, is one of five returning Rebels that participated in the 2010 NCAA Championships and helped UNLV finish a program-best 21st last season. UNLV was also ranked the entire season for the first time in school history. The other returning NCAA swimmers are Andrew Morrell, Steven Nelms, Cody Roberts and David Seiler.
On the women's side, BYU was picked to repeat as MWC champions as the Cougars earned 62 points and received six first-place votes. San Diego State picked up two first place votes and was second with 56 points, and the third first place vote went to Wyoming, third with 50 points. UNLV was close behind in fourth with 45, while Colorado State and Utah were tied for fifth with 33 points. Rounding out the poll was TCU in seventh (22), New Mexico in eighth (13) and Air Force in ninth (10).
UNLV looks to be a young team once again this season, as of its seven returning all-conference performers, five are sophomores. Expected to challenge for several MWC titles will be senior Lisa Gillespie, while junior Anja Crawford also returns for UNLV..
The season starts for the UNLV women with a conference dual meet at New Mexico on Thursday, Oct. 14. The Rebel men's first action will be in a tri-meet against Arizona, Arizona State and Kansas, while the UNLV women will also participate in the meet.