BRIDGEPORT, Pa. – The Bucknell men's water polo team was ranked 14th in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Preseason Poll, the organization announced Wednesday.

In addition, the Bison, who are celebrating their 40th season in 2017, were selected as the unanimous favorite to defend their Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference title.

A year ago, Bucknell enjoyed one of its finest campaigns in program history, compiling a 23-5 (9-1 MAWPC) record. The Bison, who were ranked 11th in the CWPA's final poll, won 20 games for the first time since 2007 and qualified for the NCAA Championship for the sixth time in program history. After totaling 184 points (154g-30a) in 28 games, Rade Joksimovic became only the second Bison to be named an All-American, joining Bucknell Hall of Famer Scott Schulte.

The Bison start their 2017 campaign at the Bruno Classic in Providence, R.I. on Saturday through Sunday. At the event, they will take on four teams ranked in the CWPA's Preseason Poll: No. 5 University of the Pacific (Saturday, 11:10 a.m.), No. 7 Pepperdine (Sunday, 9:15 a.m.), No. 16 California Baptist (Sunday, 1 p.m.) and No. 19 St. Francis Brooklyn (Saturday, 4 p.m.).

Both CWPA polls can be viewed here.