SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara beach volleyball released its 2017 schedule Friday, announced by head coach Jon Wallace. The Broncos play 11 matches overall, including three on their home courts at Los Gatos High School.
First up is a stretch of four matches in two days at Stanford as part of a season-opening, all-Bay Area tournament March 4-5. The Broncos face Saint Mary's and Stanford on Saturday, followed by matchups with Pacific and Cal on Sunday.
"I really like our schedule this year," head coach Jon Wallace said. "Playing against all Bay Area teams at Stanford to start the year will give us a great indication as to where we stand."
Following its home opener March 8 against Sacramento State, Santa Clara has more than three weeks off of competition ahead of the Wildcat Spring Challenge in Tucson, Arizona March 31-April 1. The Broncos play a doubleheader to open the tournament with matches against Grand Canyon and Arizona on Friday, then wrap up play by facing New Mexico on Saturday. The Wildcats were one of eight teams to reach the NCAA Tournament last year — the inaugural season of NCAA beach volleyball.
"Arizona will be a very fun tournament," Wallace said. "To have Nikki Hess, Jensen Cunningham and Callie Jones return home and play in front of their home crowd will be great for them. The competition at the tournament will be solid."
The Broncos hit the road to take on conference rival Saint Mary's April 4, then return home to close out the regular season against San Francisco and San José State on consecutive days (April 12-13). The West Coast Conference Beach Volleyball Championship is a two-day, double-elimination tournament slated for April 21-22 at Ocean Park Beach in Santa Monica, California.
"The WCC put on a great event at last year's tournament," Wallace said. "We're looking forward to getting down to Santa Monica and getting a great result."
Santa Clara is coming off its most successful season in program history. The Broncos went 10-3 in the regular season and 11-5 overall in 2016. They had three players named All-WCC — including two first-teamers — alongside six WCC All-Academic selections.
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