September 2, 2010

No. 13 SCU Men’s Water Polo Opens Season Against No. 1 California

The 2010 Santa Clara Men's Water Polo team is set to open their season this weekend with a massive test, taking on preseason favorite California on Sunday at noon at the Spieker Aquatics Complex in Berkeley.

The Broncos will be without three regular starters this season due to the graduation of seniors Mike Sorgenfrei, Liam Farrell, and All-American Jack Wall, but will have the services of several solid returners.

Senior Nick Poggetti, who led the team in 2009 with 79 goals, will be reprising his roll as the go-to two-meter man.  Senior Stephen Hobbs (29 goals, 29 KOD – 2009), senior Mitch Klipa (22 goals, 19 assists – 2009) and junior James Case (32 goals, 34 assists – 2009) will also be back to help lead the offense while junior goalie Michael Wishart will be back in the cage.  In addition, junior Daley Meistrell, who had a breakout season last year with 46 assists, will also be back.

Head coach Keith Wilbur enters his ninth season at the helm of the Bronco men's side. In 2009, Wilbur, the most winning men's water polo coach in SCU history, helped guide men's team to its highest ever Collegiate Water Polo Association ranking of No. 10 in the nation and a third-place finish in the Western Water Polo Association Championships after falling to eventual champion Loyola Marymount in the semifinals. The Broncos also put together its best record ever, going 22-12 on the season.  

Wilbur is assisted by former player Luke Oda as the first assistant, while Phil Vogt will be taking over Oda's prior responsibility as a volunteer assistant coach.

The Golden Bears will get a chance to shake off the offseason rust before the Broncos, opening their season against No. 17 UC Davis at home a day before meeting with Santa Clara.  Last season, the Bears and Broncos met thrice, with Cal taking all three matches by scores of 14-9, 13-9 and 15-4.

NOTES

  • Santa Clara will host the Men's 2010 WWPA Championships for the first time ever this year.  The tournament will run from November 19-21 at the Sullivan Aquatic Center.
  • Former standout and All-American Jack Wall will continue his water polo career playing professionally in Croatia, having just recently signed a contract.
  • The Broncos will play on ESPNU on Sept. 10, taking on Princeton in the Princeton Invitational