SANTA CLARA, Calif.- After its first nine games on the road, the Santa Clara men's water polo team is gearing up to start some home cooking, hosting six out of its next eight competitions.
Santa Clara (4-5) will have its first appearance at Sullivan Aquatic Center at noon on Saturday, Sept. 30, when Concordia is in town for the Western Water Polo Association opener.
The Broncos, who will have 12 days off between games, are using this week of practice to concentrate on their counterattacks.
"Between the Princeton Tournament and the UC Davis Tournament, we lost or push on the counterattack. This is going to be an area that we focus on over the next two weeks," said head coach Keith Wilbur.
"I think all four captains have really stepped up their games this year," said Wilbur. "Raineri is coming back from being out last season and DeMarco has been more aggressive on offense. Sam has been a really good player all around and very versatile. Reilley has stepped into a bigger role at hole set. All four of those guys have stepped up their games, and it's nice to have that leadership."
Raineri leads the team in goals with 13, while May is second with 11 and has drawn the most kickouts (19). Orella has the team lead with 12 assists.
Mac Carey has also been productive, scoring 10 goals and drawing 12 kickouts.
"We can rely on Mac to produce offense and also score goals in clutch situations," said Wilbur. "He showed that this weekend in a couple tight games when he scored goals when we needed them."
"Both our goalies are doing really well," said Wilbur. "Emil has been pretty consistent in the cage, and Keaton has embraced his role. When he has the opportunity to play, he's been really good. I see both those guys supporting each other and pushing each other. I like what they're doing."
Following the matchup with Concordia, the Broncos play Cal (Oct. 4) and UC Davis (Oct. 14) before playing five in a row at home beginning on Oct. 19 against Cal Baptist.