Aug. 31, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's water polo team completes its second week of preseason training camp this afternoon.
The team has been splitting training sessions between two pools: Bellarmine College Prep and the Leavey Center, Santa Clara's home facility. The high school pool allows the Broncos to practice 30-plus meters, beyond the traditional field set up for the collegiate game.
"It's a big difference at this point in our training to be able to go long course," head coach Steve Hanson said. "I've been able to be a little more patient about using the big water and work on our counter attack and six-on-five situations. The team is getting fit and keeping their speed up in the longer pool. Last year, we were rushed with our pool time because we were training off campus while the Leavey Center was under construction. We had major fundamental problems in the big water and most of it came from fatigue. This year, we're at a point where we're a little bit tired, but in a little bit better shape and able to battle through the swimming. Our outlook is a lot better."
The Broncos arrived Aug. 22 and have been practicing twice daily since. Times vary, but most morning sessions run from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. while the afternoon session also lasts two hours. After spending the first week conditioning his players, Hanson said this past week he has concentrated on fitness in the morning and game situations in the afternoon.
Practices are open to the public and are located at either the Leavey Center Pool or Bellarmine College Prep Pool. Those interested in attending or wanting to confirm practice times and locations, days off or directions, please call the Santa Clara Athletic Office at 408-554-4063.
"I've been pleasantly surprised so far into camp, "Hanson said. "I wasn't absolutely sure what we were going to get out of the freshmen this year but they're really solid. That's key because I knew coming back we were going to be a little short in numbers. With only 12 field players on this year's roster, it's a smaller team for us. We need everybody contributing.
"I've also noticed there's no little cliques in the group," he continued. "They've been a tight-knit group from the word go. The freshmen have been instantly adopted in and the juniors and seniors are making the effort to show them how things are done. This group gelled early. It's fantastic to see teammates going out of their way. It's also very unique. I haven't seen that in my prior three years here."
The Broncos open the 2001 season on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at Pacific. The match will begin at 4 p.m. at the Chris Kjeldsen Pool in Stockton. Santa Clara opens the home schedule with an alumni game, set for Sept. 22. All matches at the Leavey Center pool are free to attend.