May 23, 2003
The Santa Clara University women's water polo team recently completed its season, posting an 18-20 record in only its third campaign at the Division I level. Under first-year head coach Keith Wilbur, the Broncos capped their season by placing fifth at the Women's Western Water Polo Association Championships. A few season highlights:
Senior Becky Hong was named to the All-Tournament second team at the WWWPA Championships for the second consecutive year. She scored five goals at the tournament and finished the season with 53, starting all 38 contests. Hong posted 14 multi-goal games, including a six-goal performance against Villanova on March 2, a 13-8 Bronco victory.
The Broncos say goodbye to two more seniors. Kelley Mays led SCU for the second straight year in scoring, racking up 70 goals this season. She posted 19 multi-goal games, including an eight-goal performance against CS San Bernardino on March 26, a 10-4 Bronco victory. Mays ended the season with eight tallies at the WWPA Championships. Elizabeth Glotzbach concluded her Bronco career this season as well. She finished fifth in scoring, with 28 goals, five of which came at the season-ending tournament.
Santa Clara's 7-5 victory over 20th-ranked CS Northridge on April 18 was historic for the Bronco program. In the last three seasons--since gaining Division I status--the Broncos were 0-22 against nationally-ranked Division I opponents. With their final opportunity this season at the Sun Devil Invitational in Tempe, Ariz., the Broncos ended on a high note, coming away with a 'W'. The team was led by Kelley Mays, who scored three times to lead the squad to a place in SCU history.
Across all divisions, Santa Clara faced a demanding schedule, with 26 of its 38 matches against ranked opposition. The Broncos bested 12 of those nationally-ranked opponents.
Santa Clara went 12-1 when scoring at least 10 goals.
The Broncos went 4-2 at home in the Leavey Pool, defeating Sonoma State and UC Santa Cruz to open the season, and Villanova and CS Hayward in March. The losses were to ranked teams from Hawaii and UC Davis. Fans and community members took advantage of the free admission to pack the stands and support the team at all six home contests.
The program hosted its first alumni game on April 5. Although Bryn Asher and Elizabeth Glotzbach scored three times each to lead the current Broncos to a 9-7 victory, this game wasn't really about the score. 2000 graduate Lara Williams commented that, "It says a lot about Santa Clara that traditions like this can get started. SCU athletics isn't just about playing a sport for four years, but making connections with other people and to the school." The day was also special to the current players. Senior co-captain Becky Hong noted that, "It meant a lot that so many alums came back for the game. It was great for everybody to see each other again and have a chance to catch up." Kim Yost '01 added that, "Hopefully this will become a tradition that we can look forward to every year."
The future looks bright for the program, as four underclassmen were significant contributors to the team's successes in 2003. Sophomores Katy Shumm and Amanda Ginn, as well as freshman Alanna Simpkins, were starters for the entire season, while freshman Kathleen Hamm was the first off the bench, and by the end of the season, was the team's go-to two-meter player.