SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's water polo team travels to Bakersfield this weekend to play in the Roadrunner Invitational II. Three Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) games are on the schedule for SCU, including an important matchup with Colorado State.
"Colorado State is the biggest game (of the weekend) because this is the only time we will see them during the regular season," said Santa Clara head coach Keith Wilbur. "The outcome of that game could affect our seeding at conference championships. The games against CS East Bay and CS Bakersfield will not affect our seed because we have already played both teams twice. They are both good teams though, and we may see them at the conference championships, so these games are a good opportunity to see how we match up with them."
Santa Clara (11-6; 8-5 WWPA) is coming off hosting The Bronco, SCU's marquee home tournament featuring nine teams and 18 games over three days on the Mission Campus. Santa Clara opened the weekend by beating Cal State Bakersfield 6-5, the same Roadrunner team they play this Saturday at 10 a.m.
Marina Allen had a pair of goals and two steals in the win over Bakersfield (6-27; 2-8 WWPA). SCU is 2-0 over CSUB this season, but have lost both previous games with Saturday afternoon's opponent, Cal State East Bay (19-10; 9-3 WWPA). As mentioned, SCU has yet to play Colorado State (9-14; 2-5 WWPA) this season.
SCU statistical notes … Laura Espinosa has broken Katie Radvanyi '07 and Meg Zimmerman's '10 single-season school record of 64 earned ejections … Taylor Harkins, who leads the team with 40 goals, has reached the 40-goal milestone for the second consecutive season … freshman Claire Eadington continues to lead the team in assists (29) … Caitlin Espe is the team-leader in steals (41) ... goalkeeper Wren White had 25 blocks in three games during The Bronco last weekend.
"Wren (White) keeps getting stronger as the season progresses," said Wilbur. "Our defense is one of our main strengths, and she anchors it, so that will be key for us down the stretch. Caitlin Espe has also been doing a great job as our primary two-meter defender. She shuts down the opposing team's best player and still produces a lot for us on offense. Her play has been great. Taylor Harkins has shot the ball really well the past two weekends, and that has been a nice boost to our offense."
The Roadrunner Invitational II
Dates: Saturday, Apr. 16 and Sunday, Apr. 17, 2011
Host: Cal State Bakersfield
Field (4 teams): Santa Clara, Colorado State, Cal State East Bay, Cal State Bakersfield
Details: 6 games over two days
Venue: John Hillman Aquatics Center, Bakersfield, Calif.
9001 Stockdale Highway
Bakersfield, CA 93311-1022
Website: Roadrunner Invitational II Tournament Central
Saturday, April 16
10 a.m. – Santa Clara @ Cal State Bakersfield*
11:30 a.m. – Cal State East Bay vs. Colorado State*
3 p.m. – Santa Clara vs. Cal State East Bay*
4:30 p.m. – Colorado State @ Cal State Bakersfield*
Sunday, April 17
10 a.m. – Santa Cara vs. Colorado State*
11:30 a.m. – Cal State East Bay @ Cal State Bakersfield*
1. Loyola Marymount 23-7/11-0
2. UC San Diego 14-16/9-1
3. Cal State East Bay 19-10/9-3
4. Santa Clara 11-16/8-5
5. Cal State Monterey Bay 14-18/4-6
6. Colorado State 9-14/2-5
7. Sonoma State 8-26/3-9
8. Cal State Bakersfield 6-27/2-8
9. Cal State San Bernardino 8-29/1-12
*A team's winning percentage within conference is not the determining factor in the final WWPA tournment seedings, which take into account a number of different factors, including games played and strength of schedule