SCU Water Polo Opens Season This Weekend, Face Four Ranked Teams

WWPA Weekly Release in PDF Format

SANTA CLARA, Calif. –
The Santa Clara University women's water polo team opens its 2011 season this weekend, playing four ranked teams at the San Jose State Spartan Invite. The opener will be against tournament host and ninth-ranked SJSU Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m.

Ninth-year Bronco head coach Keith Wilbur mentions his defense when asked about the positive aspects of preseason training,  "We have done a lot of work on half court and power play defense, and I think the team has been quick to pick up the different schemes.  They are also willing to work hard, and that usually leads to good defense."

The Broncos are receiving votes in the preseason Collegiate Water Polo Association Top 20 and have a chance to jump into the rankings if they can win a couple games this weekend. But the competition is tough, playing SJSU in their home pool, playing No. 19 Pacific in the afternoon Saturday, then turning around and matching up with No. 3 Cal Sunday morning.

THE WEEKEND GAMES @ SJSU SPARTAN INVITE:
Sat. 8:30 a.m. – # 9 San Jose State
Sat. 4 p.m. – #19 Pacific
Sun. 10 a.m. - #3 California
Sun 4 p.m. - #16 UC Davis

"My philosophy on scheduling is to play a lot of games against good competition," said Wilbur in a recent interview. "I think playing against tough opponents throughout the season is the best thing to prepare us for the conference tournament at the end of April."

The team is led by goalkeeper Wren White and utility Taylor Harkins, both seniors, while welcoming a class of talented freshmen.

"I think the most surprising part of spring practice so far is how fast the freshmen are getting up to speed," said Wilbur. "They are working hard and learning quickly, and they are more than holding their own in scrimmages already."

SCU has one of its most athletic and deep teams in recent memory. Any win this weekend would be a boost to getting the season off to a good start. The Broncos were among the top teams in the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) last year, going 17-16 overall and 10-7 within the league.

The team's conference opener will be next Saturday, February 5 when they play Cal State Monterey Bay on the road. For more information on the weekend games and for scoring updates click here.