SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara University has announced its 2012 women's water polo schedule. The Broncos, who went 10-6 in league play last year and finished third in the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) standings, could face as many as 11 top 20 teams.
Beginning with the program's season-opener at home against UC Santa Barbara on Friday, January 20, the Broncos will play four ranked teams in a two-week span to start the year: No. 2 Cal (Jan. 21), No. 16 UC Davis (Jan. 22), No. 8 Arizona State (Jan. 28) and No. 10 Michigan (Feb. 3).
The matchup with No. 10 Michigan on February 3 and a date with No. 13 Long Beach State on March 4 will also be played at the Sullivan Aquatic Center, SCU's home pool, located at 500 El Camino Real on the Santa Clara Campus. The program will host its annual tournament, The Bronco, the weekend of April 14-15.
"We do not have a set conference schedule, so first, I always want to make sure that we have games set up with all the teams in our conference," said Santa Clara head coach Keith Wilbur when asked about his scheduling philosophy. "After that, we are looking to schedule games and tournaments where we face high-level competition. I also try to schedule as many home games as possible."
Wilbur has added nine new players to the 2012 roster, complementing an accomplished group of returners, including sophomore Claire Eadington the 2011 WWPA 'Newcomer of the Year' and seniors Marina Allen (pictured), Laura Espinosa and Sarah Safir.
"We have a lot of new players on our roster this year and they bring a lot of energy to this team," said Wilbur. "I am excited with how they are meshing with our returners. We have a lot of tournaments earlier in the year, which allows us to play two games in a day. I think this will give the new players a chance to gain experience quickly, and it also gives our whole team the opportunity to develop some chemistry. Towards the end of the year, we have more single games and conference games. Hopefully we will be playing our best water polo at that time."
The Broncos were able to cap off last season playing well, highlighted by a comeback victory over Cal State East Bay to place third at the WWPA Championships, held at Chabot College in Hayward. The Broncos finished among the league's top-three last season, building on the program's runner-up finish in 2009.
"I like the way our schedule is set up this year," added Wilbur. "We will see some very good competition at all the tournaments that we are going to, and we have some great home games against conference teams as well as perennially-ranked teams like Michigan, Long Beach, and Cal Baptist. Also, the Bronco tournament which we host is always a great event with almost all the teams from the WWPA."
For tickets or more information contact the Santa Clara Ticket Office by calling 408-554-4660 or to purchase tickets online visit SantaClaraBroncos.com/buytickets. For the complete 2012 women's water polo schedule CLICK HERE.
June 6, 2012 Making a Splash as a Freshman
April 29, 2012 Broncos Win Thriller to Close Out Season
April 21, 2012 Pacific Edges Santa Clara Water Polo 7-4
April 14, 2012 Bronco Water Polo Adds Big Conference Wins
April 3, 2012 2012 Santa Clara Invitational, The Bronco
March 27, 2012 Key WWPA Games On Tap for Santa Clara Women's Water Polo
March 14, 2012 Inside the Game: Goalkeeping with Stephanie Clements
February 25, 2012 Broncos Earn Another WWPA Victory, Topping Cal St. Monterey Bay
February 11, 2012 Broncos Battling Tough Competition at UCSD Triton Inviational
February 9, 2012 Next for SCU Water Polo: 16-Team Triton Invitational in San Diego
February 3, 2012 SCU Falls to Michigan; Play in Monterey Saturday
January 29, 2012 Water Polo Picks up WWPA Victory at UC Santa Barbara’s Invite
January 23, 2012 Broncos Picked Third in WWPA Preseason Coaches Poll
January 22, 2012 Claire Eadington Stars for Santa Clara in Close Loss to Pacific
January 9, 2012 Espinosa, Broncos Enter Season Just Outside National Top 20
November 30, 2011 Palo Alto’s Elizabeth Anderson Signs NLI with Santa Clara University
November 14, 2011 SCU Women’s Water Polo 2012 Schedule Announced
May 19, 2011 Eadington Freshman Standout for the Broncos