SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Santa Clara University women's water polo program announced its 2013 schedule Wednesday, which features non-conference home games against No. 3 UCLA and 15th-ranked Hawaii. Additionally, the Broncos and the University's Sullivan Aquatic Center is set to host the 2013 Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championships, April 26 through 28.
"The Sullivan Aquatic Center is such a great venue for water polo, so a lot of teams ask to come and play us here," said Santa Clara head water polo coach Keith Wilbur. "Of course that's a huge plus, playing here and playing in front of our home crowd. At the end of the year, the winner of the WWPA's gets an automatic bid into the NCAA's, so there's always a little extra excitement during all those games as well."
Santa Clara's water polo student-athletes report to preseason camp on January 7th. The official season-opener will played in Santa Barbara, Calif. at UCSB's Winter Invite the weekend of January 26-27. No. 15 Hawaii visits the Mission campus just a few days later for the team's home-opener Friday, February 1.
"We have to play a certain amount of games within our conference," said Wilbur. "Outside of that, I like to schedule games against good competition. We will play ranked teams like Hawaii, UCLA, San Jose State, and we will go to tournaments at UCSD, UCSB, and Davis, seeing a lot of tough competition there also."
As mentioned, UC San Diego's Triton Invitational the weekend of February 9-10 offers the Broncos an early-season test, as does the UC Davis Aggie Shootout March 2-3. Harvard is on the home schedule Sunday, March 17 and No. 3 UCLA visits Friday, March 29.
"We have a wide range of talent and experience on our team, and our schedule provides games against a wide range of competition," says Wilbur. "I think this will be good for our group, in terms of player development, gaining experience in different situations, and building towards our conference tournament at the end of the season."
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