Get an Inside Look at SCU Water Polo's Recent Road Trip to UOP
LA JOLLA, Calif. – The Santa Clara University women's water polo team will open up the 2012 Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championships against Cal State East Bay on Friday, April 27 at 1:30 p.m. at Canyonview Aquatic Center on the campus of UC San Diego.
Santa Clara (8-25; 7-8 WWPA) has earned the tournament's No. 5 seed and will face No. 4 seed, Cal State East Bay (17-11; 10-6 WWPA), in its first game.
The Broncos and Pioneers actually played a close game at UC San Diego's pool back on February 11. Cal State East Bay was able to win that matchup 6-3 before the team's split a pair of more recent games hosted by Santa Clara.
Santa Clara vs. Cal State East Bay (season-series)
2/11 CSEB 6, Santa Clara 3 (@ UCSD) Recap
2/18 SANTA CLARA 10, CSEB 7 Recap
4/15 CSEB 11, SANTA CLARA 8 Recap
"I think our first round game is the tournament's best matchup on the opening day of WWPA's this year," said Santa Clara head coach Keith Wilbur. "Our team is very focused on that game and excited to play. We having been playing our best ball for the last month of the season, and we are looking forward to taking it up another level for our conference championships."
The Broncos capped off a three-game winning streak in its own home tournament earlier this month, beating both Cal State San Bernardino and Colorado State. SCU has gone 3-4 during the month of April, most recently, the team's defense played extremely well despite dropping a 7-4 road decision at Pacific this past Saturday.
"Although losing to East Bay at the Bronco tournament was a disappointment, I would like to think that it actually puts us at an advantage," junior Jamie Swartz said in a recent interview. "I am definitely more fired up to play them, and to prove that we are the better team. Plus, as the lower seed, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain ... We have a strong team, both defensively and offensively, and the game on Friday is our chance to prove just how much talent and drive we have."
Santa Clara had three different players named among the WWPA's best this season. Record-setting senior 2M Laura Espinosa (pictured), senior classmate D Marina Allen and freshman D Ashleigh Bandimere. Allen leads the team in goals (44), Espinosa has drawn 84 kick outs and Bandimere has added 31 goals in her rookie season.
The 2012 SCU senior class of Allen, Espinosa and Sarah Safir have each started in all 33 games this season, along with junior 2M Alison Norris, high-scoring sophomore UT Claire Eadington and junior goalkeeper Stephanie Clements.
A win Friday against CSEB would assure the Broncos of a top-four finish in the WWPA this season. For the complete tournament bracket and to follow the action this weekend click here.
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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