SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara men's water polo will look to get back on the winning track Saturday when it plays host to No.8-ranked UC Davis in its Western Water Polo Association opener.
The Broncos (3-4) are facing their third top-10 foe, while the Aggies (7-3, 1-0) have won four of their last five, including Saturday's 12-10 victory over Cal Baptist in their conference opener.
Despite twice tying the game after trailing by four, Santa Clara lost its last time out, falling to San Jose State, 10-8, on Friday at West Valley College.
"I thought the main problem last week that we were 2-for-10 on 6-on-5 and that's just not good enough to win against a good team like San Jose State," head coach Keith Wilbur said. "So, I think if we can draw the same number of kickouts, but execute better 6-on-5, that definitely increases our chances."
UC Davis, the two-time defending league champion, poses a tough challenge for the Broncos.
"One thing we learned from playing top teams, like Cal and Stanford, these last couple weeks is that we have to play pretty much mistake free water polo," head coach Keith Wilbur said. "Davis is a similar type team where if you make mistakes they're going to capitalize on it. So we have to play four quarters mistake free to give ourselves a chance to win the game."
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 BroncoTickets@scu.edu. Sullivan Aquatic Center, as well as its ticket office, is open one hour prior to the start of the game.
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.
The Broncos have a number of key performers back from last year who had quite a bit of the team's production. In fact, all but four players return from 2017.
Seven of the top nine goal scorers are back, including junior Patrick Kirk who tallied a team-high 32 goals with 25 coming in the last 14 games of the season.
The team also has four of the top five producers of kickouts drawn back led by senior Reilley May who posted 53. He has 142 in his career, which is ties him for fifth on the school's all-time list.
Last season, junior Mac Carey ranked second on the team in both goals (29) and kickouts drawn (36) and led the team with 41 assists.
BY THE NUMBERS
• 69...Percentage of steals (178 of 258) from 2017 made by returning players
• 75...Percentage of assists (155 of 208) from 2017 produced by members of current roster
• 79...Percentage of goals (194 of 247) from 2017 tallied by the current players
• 90...Percentage of kickouts drawn (180 of 201) from 2017 earned by members of the current roster