SANTA CLARA, Calif. – To kick off the 2014 season, the Bronco women's water polo team will host No. 6 Hawaii on Thurs., Jan. 30 at 5 p.m. then turn around to play No. 13 Michigan the very next day at 3 p.m.
"We like playing against top-ranked teams," said head coach Keith Wilbur in his 12th season at Santa Clara. "It is much better for us to focus on our level of play rather than wins and losses, and playing top-ranked teams will definitely challenge us to play at our highest level."
After the two home matches, the Broncos will take their first road trip of the season as they travel to former conference foe Cal State Monterey Bay on Sat., Feb. 1 at 1 p.m.
The team has come together quite nicely in the preseason as they took down Cal State East Bay and the University of the Pacific as the Broncos hosted a full day of scrimmages on Nov. 16. Though injuries gave the team a slight hiccup in their preparation for the season, the Broncos are confident the team is ready to compete.
"We had some unexpected injuries during the first couple of practices, so we had to practice the past few weeks with some key players out," continued Wilbur. "Those players have come back recently, but I would have preferred to have some more practice time with our team at full strength. That being said, the players coming back from injury are returners with game experience. They know our systems well and will get back into it very quickly."
The Broncos have a solid group of returning players back in the pool this season. Entering her sophomore season, Julia Peters returns after leading the team with 50 goals and being named to the 2013 All-American Honorable Mention team. Claire Eadington, Jenny Anderson and Laura Burtness return for their senior seasons after playing and starting at least 32 games each in 2013.
With their roster deep in experience and talent, the Broncos' 2014 season is shaping up to be very successful.
Thursday, Jan. 30
No. 6 Hawaii @ Santa Clara – 5:00 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 31
No. 13 Michigan @ Santa Clara – 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 1
@ Cal St. Monterey Bay – 1:00 p.m.