By Tomomi Menjo '13
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Bronco men's water polo team got off to a great start, posting a 3-1 record at the Inland Empire Tournament over the weekend. Goalie Matt Pritchett had 33 saves during the weekend, helping the Bronco victories over Chapman, Whittier and Redlands. Pritchett (MP) caught up with SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) and talked about how hard he and the team worked during preseason to get ready for this season. The Broncos will play NorCals in Palo Alto, Calif. on Sep.15th and 16th.
SCB: How's your summer been? What did you do?
MP: My summer's been great. It felt really long this year, which is always nice! I spent the summer training with the team while juggling a busy and demanding work schedule as a swim instructor and lifeguard back home. I also went into the studio with both of my bands and recorded two records, both of which are set to release this winter. That was a lot of fun!
SCB: What have you been working on to improve?
MP: During this past off-season I made it my mission to improve on my overall leg strength, range of motion and flexibility, as well as my explosiveness, my passing and my communication skills. All of these are essential to becoming a strong defensive goalie.
SCB: What has the team been focusing on? What does the training schedule look like during preseason?
MP: As a team, we have been focusing on working hard both in and out of the pool. We've been hitting the weight room hard and we have been doing a lot more conditioning than we have in years past. We are just now wrapping up preseason, which consisted of about a month of double days, and even some triple days. I feel that our team is in the best shape that we've been in during my career here at Santa Clara. And the good news is that we've managed to accomplish this without too many injuries, which has been an issue that has plagued us in the past.
SCB: How does the team look for this upcoming season?
MP: Our team is looking pretty big this year, and I don't just mean size wise. We are returning a lot of older and more experienced players this year in certain areas where we'll need the experience. But at the same time we also have a freshmen class of 10 guys, which is huge for us. So all in all I'd say we're looking pretty competitive right now.
SCB: What are you looking forward to for your junior year at SCU?
MP: I'm really looking forward to making a big splash this year, both in and out of the pool. It's been a long time coming, but I'm finally getting to see some serious playing time this year, and I'm hoping that my hard work will pay off in the pool. Outside of that, I'm realizing that I'm half way done with college, and time seems to be flying by. I'm excited for this school year to start up so that I can continue to learn and grow as an individual both in and out of the classroom. Santa Clara has so much to offer its students; and I plan on taking full advantage of all of those opportunities this year!
SCB: What is your personal goal this year?
MP: My personal goal is to work hard and get better each day. I've come to realize that there is a process to certain things in life, and that if you really apply yourself and put forth the effort, you will go far. And that applies to everything, both school and water polo at least.
SCB: Any message to the SCU community?
MP: My message to the Santa Clara community would be to please continue to come out and support all of your fellow Broncos! I think I speak for all student-athletes when I say that nothing makes us happier than winning in front of our friends and families at home. We all work very hard at what we do, and it's nice to be able to look out after a great win or a tough loss and see your peers out there cheering you on. Thank you for your continued love and support!