SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Santa Clara University women's water polo team has announced its 2011 spring schedule, which features home games with Indiana, Harvard, UC Davis and two weekend tournaments at the Sullivan Aquatics Center on SCU's Mission Campus.
"My philosophy on scheduling is to play a lot of games against good competition," said ninth-year SCU head water polo coach Keith Wilbur. "I think playing against tough opponents throughout the season is the best thing to prepare us for the conference tournament at the end of April."
Santa Clara had the third-best record in the 10-team Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) a year ago. The Broncos went 17-16 overall, including a 10-7 mark within league play.
Possible opponents who ranked among the nation's Top 20 last season include: No. 3 California, No. 4 LMU, No. 6 Hawaii, No. 8 San Jose State, No. 12 Indiana, No. 14 Pacific, No. 18 UC San Diego, No. 19 UC Davis and No. 20 Cal Baptist.
"This will be one of the most athletic teams I have coached," said Wilbur about his 2011 roster. "I like the fact that they can push the tempo throughout the game. We have a lot of youth, with very big sophomore and freshmen classes. They have a lot of energy and are excited to play. That being said, we also have some solid upperclassmen returning, and I think that group will provide great leadership."
"We have a lot of potential to improve over the course of the season as the freshmen gain experience playing at the college level, and the team gains experience playing together."
The Broncos open the year on Saturday, January 29 at San Jose State's Spartan Invite. SCU will travel to Southern California to play at UC San Diego's Triton Invitational the weekend of February 12-13 following a pair of early-season games in Monterey, Calif.
The official home-opener is scheduled for Saturday, February 19 against Cal Baptist, which is part of a five-game homestand in late February. SCU's home pool at the at the Sullivan Aquatics Center will be the site of The Rodeo Tournament (Feb. 26-27) and The Bronco Invitational (Apr. 9-10).
"I really like our schedule," said Wilbur. "We have a nice balance of home and away games, and we will be playing good teams every weekend throughout the season."
A home date with UC Davis on Saturday, April 23 precludes the WWPA Championships, which will be hosted the weekend of April 29-May 1 by Cal State University East Bay.
For tickets or more information call the Santa Clara ticket office at 408-554-4660.