Santa Clara Nearly Upsets BYU-Hawai'i
Nov. 19, 2005
Los Angeles, Calif. - Entering the Western Water Polo Association Championships, Santa Clara earned the seventh seed, but finished the tournament one spot higher than its original seeding. This afternoon, Santa Clara dropped a close 8-7 decision to fourth-seeded BYU-Hawai'i to finish in sixth place in the conference. Jack Wall and Chris Parolin tossed in two goals apiece to pace the Broncos.
"It was a good game that went back and forth all afternoon. Unfortunately, the ball didn't bounce our way towards the end, but it was a great effort by the team," said head coach Keith Wilbur. "Our guys played hard and I'll take a one goal loss as long as we put forth the effort."
Aside from Wall and Parolin, Santa Clara received goals from Patrick Noack, Tommy Kelly, and Whit Gilfillan to round out the rest of the SCU scorers. Parolin had a great all-around game, drawing two kickouts and collected one steal and one assist. Jon Greco jumpstarted much of the Bronco offense, notching three assists. Michael Petersen did an outstanding job in the cage, blocking 11 attacks on the afternoon.
After the tournament concluded, Wall was honored as the WWPA Newcomer of the Year, as he was the main offensive catalyst for the Broncos all season long. Wall was also named to the All-WWPA Second Team for his excellent play throughout the year.
Santa Clara finishes its year with an overall record of 16-16 and despite the loss, Wilbur is optimistic about the future and the direction of the program. The Broncos will graduate seniors Grant Allison, Austin Brizgys, and Jon Greco, but many key starters will return to the pool to give SCU a solid nucleus to work with in 2006.
"It was a good season by our team. With this program, I've been feeling we've been getting better every year," said Wilbur. "We are taking steps forward every season and we have a lot to build off of for next year. I'm really proud of the way our seniors competed this season and we'll miss them for sure."