SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The No. 14 Santa Clara men's water polo (17-14 overall, 7-7 WWPA) will host the WWPA Championships this Friday, Nov. 19 to Sunday, Nov. 21 at the Sullivan Aquatic Center. Ten conference foes will converge on the Mission Campus, all looking for an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. This will mark the first time the Santa Clara men's team has hosted the WWPA championships. The Santa Clara women hosted the tournament in 2008.
The Broncos will open the tournament against SCIAC champion Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags (17-12 overall, 9-7 WWPA). Claremont-Mudd-Scripps claimed the SCIAC championship last weekend by upsetting No. 1 seed Redlands 9-8 in Overtime, and then defeating No. 7 seeded Whittier 6-5 in the finals. Earlier this season the Broncos defeated the Stags 9-6 at Claremont. The Broncos offense was led by senior Stephen Hobbs and junior Bret Zylstra, who netted two goals apiece. Michael Wishart was a force in the cage, making nine saves against Claremont.
A Win over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps would likely matchup the Broncos against No. 1 seed Loyola Marymount. The Broncos have played the Lions tough in there three losses this season to LMU. A trip to the finals would be Santa Clara's first in program history.
Last year's WWPA Championship was held in Orange, Calif. on the campus of Chapman University. The Loyola Marymount Lions claimed the automatic berth to the NCAA tournament, defeating UC San Diego 5-4 in the championship game. The Broncos finished third defeating Whittier 17-9 in the third place game. It was Santa Clara's highest finish ever at the WWPA Championships.
The Broncos continue to be led by junior James Case, who has netted 54 goals on the season. Also carrying the scoring load has been senior captains Nick Poggetti and Stephen Hobbs, with 36 and 34 goals respectively. Hobbs also leads the team with 42 ejections drawn. Redshirt-junior Daley Meistrell broke the Broncos single season assist record on a pass to James Case late in the fourth quarter against Cal. Meistrell has now recorded 55 assists on the season while also leading the team in steals with 36. Michael Wishart has continued to have a big season, and his 268 saves leave him three shy of a single season career high.
2010 WWPA Men's Championships Seeding
1.LMU (16-8, 13-1)
2.UC Davis (16-9, 13-1)
3.UC San Diego (12-11, 8-4)
4.Santa Clara (17-14, 7-7)
5.Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (17-12, 9-7)
6.Pomona-Pitzer (16-16, 9-8)
7.Air Force (10-17, 5-10)
8.Redlands (18-14, 9-6)
9.Whittier (13-18, 7-10)
10.Chapman (11-13, 3-9)
2010 WWPA Men's Championships Schedule
Hosted by Santa Clara • Sullivan Aquatic Center
November 19-21, 2010
Game 01: 9:00 a.m. - No. 7 Air Force (10-17) vs. No. 10 Chapman (11-13)
Game 02: 10:20 a.m. - No. 8 Redlands (18-14) vs. No. 9 Whittier (13-18)
Game 03: 11:40 a.m. - No. 4 Santa Clara (17-14) vs. No. 5 Claremont (17-12)
Game 04: 1:00 p.m. - No. 3 UC San Diego (12-11) vs. No. 6 Pomona-Pitzer (16-16)
Game 05: 2:20 p.m. - No. 2 UC Davis (16-9) vs. Winner of Game #1
Game 06: 3:40 p.m. - No. 1 LMU (16-8) vs. Winner of Game #2
Saturday, November 20
Game 07: 9:00 a.m. - Loser Game #3 vs. Loser Game #1
Game 08: 10:20 a.m. - Loser Game #4 vs. Loser Game #2
Game 09: 11:40 a.m. - SEMIFINAL #1 - Winner Game #5 vs. Winner Game #4
Game 10: 1:00 p.m. - SEMIFINAL #2 - Winner Game #6 vs. Winner Game #3
Game 11: 2:20 p.m. - Winner Game #7 vs. Loser Game #6
Game 12: 3:40 p.m. - Winner Game #8 vs. Loser Game #5
Sunday, November 21
Game 13: 8:00 a.m. - Ninth Place - Loser Game #8 vs. Loser Game #7
Game 14: 9:20 a.m. - Seventh Place - Loser Game #12 vs. Loser Game #11
Game 15: 10:40 a.m. - Fifth Place - Winner Game #11 vs. Winner Game #12
Game 16: 12:00 p.m. - Third Place - Loser Game #9 vs. Loser Game #10
Game 17: 1:30 p.m. - CHAMPIONSHIP - Winner Game #10 vs. Winner Game #9