SANTA CLARA, Calif.- After nine competitions on the road, the Santa Clara men's water polo team is preparing to host its first game of the season.
Santa Clara (4-5) will open Western Water Polo Association play at Sullivan Aquatic Center at noon on Saturday, against Concordia (6-5, 0-2).
The Broncos will be back in action after a 12-day break between games.
"We weren't satisfied with how we played at the UC Davis tournament, but the guys have responded well," said head coach Keith Wilbur. "We talked as a group on how we can improve, and since then, we have ramped up our conditioning, and there has been a lot more game-like intensity in our scrimmages."
Wilbur has noticed Scott Zurnacian in particular stepping up his focus and vigor during practice.
"Scotty has raised his level of play over the past two weeks," said Wilbur, "In practice he has really been pushing the counterattack, driving hard, shooting well, and playing with a lot of energy. Whatever team I put him on has been doing well in our scrimmages, and he has been a spark for that team."
The Broncos will be using this energy and intensity when they face Concordia, which has been road tested this year, playing all but one game away from home.
"Concordia of Irvine has added a lot of new players from last year's team, and we have not had a chance to see them play this year," said Wilbur. "Looking at their scores, you can see they are playing well. They have some good wins, and they have also played very close games with some ranked teams. We expect some really good competition come Saturday."
Next up, the Broncos will face Cal (Oct. 4) and UC Davis (Oct. 14) before playing five in a row at home beginning on Oct. 19 against Cal Baptist.
Tickets: Single-game tickets are available for $6. Click here to purchase online or contact the ticket office weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at (408) 554-4660 or [email protected]. Sullivan Aquatic Center, as well as its ticket office, is open one hour prior to the start of the game.
Parking: For weekday games, the Leavey Center lot, located on Accolti Way off El Camino Real, is free beginning one hour prior to the start of the game. Any other parking facility on campus will be subject to normal daily rates or restrictions, including the main structure, located on Palm Drive. During the weekend, campus parking facilities are free (except for permit required locations). Click here for a campus map and parking restrictions.