Jan. 22, 2004
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's water polo team launches the 2004 season at home this Sunday against the CS Hayward Pioneers at noon at the Leavey Pool. Admission is free.
"We usually have CS Hayward or UC Santa Cruz come here for our home opener," head coach Keith Wilbur said. "CS Hayward improved a lot as a program last year. With most of their players returning and a strong recruit class, we expect them to be even better this year. It should be a good game."
The Broncos will have an interesting mix of players, with seven returnees, three junior transfers and nine freshmen. This year's captains are senior Anne Ginotti and junior Katy Shumm. Ginotti tallied 152 saves while facing 346 shots in 785 minutes of play last season. She ended the season with an 11-16 record. Shumm was the third highest goal scorer on the team with 43 tallies. The other players returning from last year's squad are senior Alexandra Dalmau, junior Amanda Ginn, and sophomores Alanna Simpkins, Bryn Asher, and Kathleen Hamm. Wilbur also anticipates many of the newcomers making contributions to this year's team, and he highlighted Catherine Flynn and Katie Radvanyi as two of the newcomers who he expects to be impact players.
"I'm really excited about the season," Wilbur added. "The returning players have all improved, we have added a lot of new talent, we have much more team speed, and we have a much deeper bench. I think it may take a little longer than usual for our team to reach its full potential because we have a lot of young players who will need to make the adjustment to playing at the college level. It will also take some time to develop team chemistry with all of the new faces on our team. That being said, I think we have a great group of players, and even though we are looking to build as a team throughout the year, we are also looking to improve upon last year's season."
The Broncos completed the 2003 season posting an 18-20 record in only their third campaign at the Division I level. Santa Clara capped its season by placing fifth at the Women's Western Water Polo Association Championships.
The Pioneers posted a 7-23 record in 2003.
After this weekend's opener, the Broncos will return to the pool January 31 for a doubleheader in Santa Cruz, with a rematch against CS Hayward at 1 p.m., followed by a contest against host UC Santa Cruz at 4 p.m.