Despite finishing undefeated and on top of the national rankings last year, the Trojans enter the 2017 season at No. 2 in the country. They'll put that ranking to the test at the UCSB Winter Invitational this weekend, where they open with No. 7 Michigan.
USC returns three first-team All-Americans in goalie Amanda Longan, driver Stephania Haralabidis and 2-meter player Brigitta Games. Haralabidis, who won the 2016 Peter J. Cutino Award (considered the Heisman Trophy of water polo), led the team with 63 goals last year. She and her twin sister, Ioanna, who ranked third on the team with 34 goals in 2016, enter their senior season trying to make one final splash.
Eight freshmen join the fold this season, including U.S. National Team member Paige Hauschild and two Canadian National Teamers: Nina Ceklic and Verica Bakoc. They'll help the Trojans compete in events such as the Cal Baptist Invitational, the Whittier Invitational, the Triton Invitational and the UCI Invitational.
The team hopes that after all that, they land a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Jovan Vavic has some experience there, as he's fresh off taking the men's team to the national title game. He's won 14 titles overall and aims for No. 15 this season.
Follow along on Twitter as USC women's water polo goes for a repeat.