SANTA CLARA, Calif. — When Santa Clara beach volleyball takes to the sand for its fifth season in 2018, the Broncos will call the Mission campus "home" for the first time in program history. Head coach Jon Wallace announced the team's 13-match slate on Wednesday, including three contests on campus at the new Santa Clara Beach Volleyball Courts.
The Broncos open the season March 1 at Cal as part of a stretch that features three matches in five days. Santa Clara returns closer to the South Bay to face San Francisco, Saint Mary's, Sacramento State and Pacific on March 2-3 at the Stanford Bay Area Kickoff.
Following the busy stretch to begin the campaign, the Broncos are back the road for tilts with West Valley College on March 7 and Saint Mary's on March 14. They head to the Central Coast to compete against Arizona and San José State at the Monterey College Invitational on March 18.
"Beach volleyball for us is very regionalized in Northern California," Wallace said. "We're going to Stanford, Cal and Saint Mary's – all really good beach teams that give us a local flavor. I like this schedule for the girls from an academic and athletic standpoint; they won't miss much class and they'll play against great competition."
SCU has nearly three weeks off from competition before ringing in the new era of home matches on April 7 at the Santa Clara University Beach Tournament. The team hosts local rivals San Francisco and San José State; the Dons and Spartans will also match up as part of the one-day event.
The Broncos hosted matches at Los Gatos High School in Los Gatos, California for a stretch of four seasons between 2014-17.
"We're excited to be playing on our new courts and open up by hosting the dual with San Francisco and San José State in April," Wallace said. "The courts are a game-changer in terms of our training and the experience for the girls. Hosting on campus will be new and exciting for us and we are really looking forward to bringing beach volleyball closer to the Santa Clara community."
The team rounds out the regular season with WCC matchups on consecutive days – a road contest at Pacific on April 10 followed by a home test against Saint Mary's on April 11. The double-elimination conference championship is slated for April 20-21 at Ocean Park Beach in Santa Monica, California.