Santa Clara Water Polo Hosts No. 17 UC Santa Barbara Friday at 3:30 p.m.

Santa Clara Water Polo Hosts No. 17 UC Santa Barbara Friday at 3:30 p.m.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – A busy and challenging opening weekend for Santa Clara University's women's water polo team begins Friday, Jan. 20 at 3:30 p.m. when the 17th-ranked UC Santa Barbara Gauchos visit SCU's Sullivan Aquatic Center.

Each of Santa Clara's first five opponents rank in the national top 20 or are receiving votes. Following Friday's game with No. 17 UCSB, the Broncos move on to face high-quality opposition at SJSU's Spartan Invitational Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 21-22.

An exhibition early Saturday morning leads up to a game with No. 2 Cal at 11:45 a.m. On Sunday, Santa Clara will play No. 16 UC Davis at 10:30 a.m. and the University of the Pacific at 2:15 p.m. The Broncos themselves are ranked just outside the top 20. Winning games this weekend would no doubt help SCU move up in the early-season rankings.

"The team has been working hard and they are excited to start playing some games this weekend, especially the home opener on Friday," said Santa Clara head coach Keith Wilbur. "We've had some unexpected injuries, but other than that, the training is going well. I think we have a solid base, and the games this weekend will help identify what needs more work."

As The Santa Clara explained in a recent article, the Broncos will be relying heavily on an accomplished group of returners, while a number of younger players recover from offseason injuries.

For tickets or more information about Friday afternoon's game against UCSB call the Santa Clara Ticket Office at 408-554-4660.