Feb. 9, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's water polo team is used to playing tough competition on a weekly basis, but this weekend at the Triton Tournament will be a whole different matter. Eleven of the Top 20 teams in the country will flock to La Jolla, Calif. and compete in the brand-new Canyonview Aquatic Center on the campus of UC San Diego for the prestigious invitational.
First up for No. 20 Santa Clara will be No. 8 San Diego State, as the two will dual in the pool on Saturday. Game time is set for 12:30 p.m. The Broncos will then either play No. 11 Indiana or Western Water Polo Association rival Redlands at either 4 or 5:10 p.m., depending on the outcome with the Aztecs. San Diego State is led by a trio of goal scorers, headed by senior and 2005 All-American Rachel Serna and juniors Elana Cervantes and Stacy Werner. The three found the back of the net 136 times last season, with Serna scoring 65, Werner and Cervantes netting 36 and 35 goals, respectively.
Among the other ranked teams participating in the Triton Tournament include No. 5 Loyola Marymount, No. 7 Long Beach State, No. 10 UC Santa Barbara, No. 13 Hartwick College, No. 14 UC Davis, No. 15 UC Irvine, No. 17 UC San Diego, and No. 19 Northridge. The tournament runs until Sunday.
"[San Diego State] was a good team last year and returns most of the key players, in addition to adding a very strong freshmen class. I expect them to be very fast and very physical with a deep bench," stated head coach Keith Wilbur. "The rest of our schedule will depend on wins and losses. With 11 of the 14 teams in the tournament ranked in the Top 20, however it shakes out, we are going to have 4 or 5 games against good teams throughout the weekend."
Added Wilbur: "UC San Diego is a great venue for water polo, and we are really looking forward to the weekend and playing against some strong competition."