Release courtesy MPSF
WOODLAND, Calif. -- The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Administrative Committee has granted membership to Austin College in men's water polo for competition beginning with the upcoming 2018 season. As with the sport's most recent MPSF newcomer Penn State Behrend, Austin College will not compete in the regular season conference schedule, though will travel to and is guaranteed three games (including one exhibition) in the MPSF Championship Tournament. The University of Southern California's Uytengsu Aquatics Center is the site for the three-day 2018 conference tournament from November 16-18. The Kangaroos join the University of California, Stanford University, UCLA, USC, and Penn State Behrend in the six-team field. The addition of Austin College allows the MPSF to retain its NCAA Tournament Automatic Qualification based on the required six-team minimum membership.
"The MPSF is thrilled to have Austin College as a new member competing in men's water polo starting in 2018-19," said MPSF Executive Director Al Beaird. "I very much look forward to working with their staff and our teams are excited about the opportunity to help grow the sport in the state of Texas."
Austin College will immediately enter the MPSF upon transitioning from club to NCAA varsity status following the 2017 season. Kangaroo sports are primarily affiliated with the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. Austin College will become the first NCAA Division III school in Texas to offer varsity water polo, and the first at any level in the state since Texas A&M in 1976.
"On behalf of Austin College athletics, we are extremely excited and honored to be a member of the MPSF, which allows us to reach our immediate goals of building a competitive foundation for our new program," said Head Coach Mark Lawrence. "The experience our athletes will gain both in and out of the water will be a great asset as our program grows towards future goals. We cannot wait to get in the water this fall and represent Austin College."
MPSF Men's Water Polo kicks-off its 27th season of competition this fall. Since its inaugural season of 1992, the conference owns all 26 NCAA Men's Water Polo titles, and currently 90 national championships across 11 sports dating back to the 1992-93 academic year.