July 21, 2010

Poggetti Returns After Record-Setting Season

Story written by Student Assistant John Nash ‘13

Over the past three seasons Nick Poggetti (NP) has become a leader for the men's water polo team. Last season Poggetti set the Santa Clara single season record for goals in a season. He was also named to the All-Conference WWPA second team. The senior from San Mateo, Calif. is majoring in marketing in the Leavey School of Business. Recently, SantaClaraBroncos.com had the chance to sit down and catch up with Nick Poggetti himself!

SCU: Last season you set the Bronco single season scoring record. You scored 79 goals.  What allowed you to have so much success?
NP: I'd say two things helped me have what my mom would call my "break-out year" First, it had a lot to do with the off-season weightlifting. Last year, in the off-season, I weighed 40 pounds more than I did when I came to Santa Clara as a freshman. Although I lost 10 or so pounds during the season, the weight training allowed me to put on so much good weight on; and the weight gain gave me a huge advantage that I previously didn't have. Secondly, I would credit two other players on the team.  While everyone contributed assists to me, Jack Wall and Daley Mesitrell had a knack for getting me the ball at the perfect time. Jack's outside threat drew defenders away from me, and Daley's precision passing are what I think the two biggest contributing factors to my scoring success.

SCU: Many would say that 2 meters is the toughest position in water polo? What characteristics make up a great hole set?
NP: The biggest characteristic I think that makes a good 2 meters player is endurance. It’s actually one of things I need to work on most. Going down to offense, wrestling with the other team's biggest player for 30 seconds, then swimming back down to play defense is one of the hardest things in the world to do. Doing it over and over again is even worse, so I have made one of my main focuses of this off-season to increase my endurance.
Size, strength and skill also contribute to being a great hole set because you will get nowhere if you can’t hold your position in front of the goal.

SCU: What are some of the team’s goals going into the 2010 season?
NP: The team’s No. 1 goal going into this season is to win conference and make NCAA Tournament. We had our highest finish last year, placing third at conference, but we've got our sights set higher this year.

 SCU: Last spring, the men’s water polo team created the “SCU4Davis” fund. Why was this done, and what did the team do to help raise money?
NP: Ever since I've been at Santa Clara, Davis has been our biggest rival. We always have close games with them. Who would want to lose such great competition? The competition is what makes the game so much fun. Also, if Davis lost their program, that would leave only four other NCAA water polo teams in Northern California.   If we want the water polo community to keep growing, we have to support each other to make sure teams don't face the same unfortunate ending as UC Santa Cruz's program did two years ago.  We helped collect donations through a blog set up by my teammates Marcus Akerland and Mitch Kilpa to go straight to the UC Davis program.

 

SCU: Preseason is just around the corner for the men’s water polo team. Any big trips or fun activities you are planning before the season kicks off?
NP: My biggest plans include relaxing. Once season comes around, all you want to do is lie down and rest, so I plan on getting my fill before double days start.