Men’s Water Polo Heads to Fresno for WWPA Championship

Men’s Water Polo Heads to Fresno for WWPA Championship

WWPA Championship Central

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara men's water polo team travels to Fresno for the three-day Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championship tournament.

The sixth-seeded Broncos (10-13, 2-5) will play No. 3 seed Loyola Marymount (12-12, 5-2) on Friday at 2:45 p.m. at Clovis West Olympic Aquatics Center.

"The playoffs are exciting, and we have been building all season towards our conference championship," said head coach Keith Wilbur. "This is when we want to play our best, and I think the team is ready to do just that. Going into the tournament, we are totally focused on our first-round matchup with LMU."

Santa Clara suffered a 14-10 loss against the Lions earlier this month at Sullivan Aquatic Center, but have been preparing for the rematch.

"LMU is an excellent team, and they do some things a little differently than most other teams that we have seen this year," said Wilbur. "It was helpful to see them two weeks ago, and we are definitely preparing for them in all phases of the game."

The tournament consists of eight teams, including No. 1 seed UC San Diego (16-5, 6-1). The Tritons meet host and No. 8 seed Fresno Pacific (5-18, 0-7) at 9:30 a.m. Friday in the first game of the tournament.

The winner of that matchup and the Santa Clara-LMU contest will face off in one of Saturday's semifinals.

The Broncos were down two starting players, Reilley May and Sam Toriggino, to close the regular season.

"We definitely missed Sam and Reilley in our last weekend of games, but they are fully healthy and ready to go," said Wilbur. "They are very strong players, but, more importantly, they also bring great leadership and experience. We are excited to have them back for conference championships."

May leads significantly in drawn exclusions, with 71, shattering a school record. Dane Estrella, who joins May and Toriggino as team captains, is first in steals (28) and field blocks (27). Junior Mac Carey leads the Broncos in goals (50) and is second in assists (37), and third-year player Shane Hughes is first in assists (39) and second in goals with 40. In his 19 games in net, Sean Tehaney made 146 blocks and 21 steals. Tehaney replaced an injured Keaton Fox and has started the last 15 games.

WWPA Championship Schedule
Friday, Nov. 16
• Game 1 | 9:30 a.m.: #1 UC San Diego vs #8 Fresno Pacific
• Game 2 | 11:15 a.m.: #4 Cal Baptist vs #5 Air Force
• Game 3 | 1 p.m.: #2 UC Davis vs #7 Concordia
• Game 4 | 2:45 p.m.: #3 Loyola Marymount vs #6 Santa Clara
Saturday, Nov. 17
• Game 5 | 8:30 a.m.: Loser #2 vs Loser #3
• Game 6 | 10:15 a.m.: Loser #1 vs Loser #4
• Game 7 | Noon: Winner #1 vs Winner #4 (Semifinal #1)
• Game 8 | 1:45 p.m.: Winner #2 vs Winner #3 (Semifinal #2)
Sunday, Nov. 18
• Game 9 | 11:15 a.m.: Loser #7 vs Loser #8 (Third Place)
• Game 10 | 1 p.m.: Winner #7 vs Winner #8 (First Place)

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