The Santa Clara men's water polo team moved up two spots in the national rankings to No. 12 this week after upsetting two higher ranked opponents, St. Francis and Pepperdine, last weekend at the SoCal Tournament.
The Broncos, 9-8 overall, will head back to southern California this weekend for the Claremont Convergence, taking on four Division III opponents while in the Inland Empire.
Santa Clara starts off Friday afternoon against Whittier at 12:40 p.m. and finishes the day with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 6 p.m. On Saturday the Broncos play Pomona-Pitzer at 11:40 a.m. and Occidental at 3:40 p.m.
Last season, Santa Clara kept a nearly clean slate against these four teams, save for a 10-9 upset loss to Pomona-Pitzer at last year's Convergence. The Broncos thrice beat Whittier, including once at the 2009 WWPA Championships. Santa Clara also defeated CMS, 11-4, at the 2009 Convergence but last played Occidental in 2008, winning 20-11.
Junior James Case leads the Bronco offense with 31 goals. Six others have registered double-digit goals, including senior Stephen Hobbs (19), Mitch Klipa (18), and Nick Poggetti (14), juniors Brett Zylstra (17) Daley Meistrell (13), and freshman Tucker Carlson (17).
Meistrell continues to be the team's assist leader with 38 helpers. Klipa's 19 steals are tops for the Broncos as are Hobbs' 27 ejections drawn. Junior goalie Michael Wishart has been stellar all season and has saved 54 percent of the shots that have come his way.
Santa Clara will play its first home game of the season next weekend, on Sat. Oct. 16 against UC San Diego. The Broncos will remain at home throughout the rest of the season, save for one road match at Pacific on Fri. Nov. 5.