Makena Pezzuto of Women's Water Polo Discusses her Team's Vision for the 2013 Season

SANTA CLARA, Calif.- The Bronco women's water polo team is back at it here on the Mission Campus, training, working hard, and gaining more team chemistry than ever before. SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) were fortunate to catch up with senior, Makena Pezztto (MP) and get the inside scoop on what this seasons goals and expectations are.

SCB: How have the first few meetings/practices of the fall season been for the women's water polo team? As a senior co-captain, what in particular do women's water polo players expect prior to the spring season? Practicing, conditioning, ect...

MP: The first few practices have been very positive.  We have four freshmen joining our team this year and they all are making major impacts in practice already. The team is definitely ready to work hard during the conditioning workouts in order to be in our best shape by the start of the season in January. I am excited for the fall season because not only is the team together again in the pool after the summer break, but we have lots of time outside the pool to bond as well.  We have a great opportunity to work on team chemistry before the regular season starts.

SCB: The team has high expectations for the 2013 season. What are the strengths of this team and what excites you about this group for 2013?

MP: The strengths of this team are definitely versatility.  We have so many players that are able to play multiple positions that allow us to create lots of opportunities against other teams.  In addition, we also have speed.  I think with the combination of speed and versatility, we will be able to differentiate ourselves from the competition.  It is exciting to see the potential of our team especially because we have players back in the pool that were injured last year.

SCB: As a senior, you know what it takes to achieve your team goals. Can you give us an idea of what this group in particular will need to do to realize its potential?

 MP: I know our team will be able to accomplish all our goals this season as long as we keep the right mindset.  We have an awesome sports psychologist, Adam Saucedo, who helps us prepare mentally to perform at our potential.

SCB: You were an Academic All-America pick in high school, and have earned WWPA All-Academic honors... what classes and subjects have you most enjoyed thus far at SCU and why?

 MP: There are few classes that I haven't enjoyed at Santa Clara, but I think I enjoy my marketing classes the most as well as the environmental classes that I took as an underclassmen. 

SCB: For the freshmen on the team, what are some adjustments that student-athletes need to make to excel at this next level? Thinking back, what are some adjustments you had to make?

 MP: I think that it is easy to balance academics and sport as long as you stay on top of your work.  I knew that I needed to finish homework and projects early because I didn't want the stress of school to affect my performance in the pool. 

SCB: Did you watch any of the Olympic water polo this summer? If so, what did you think and what made the biggest impressions on you?

 MP: Yes! Of Course!  I loved every moment of it.  I think the Olympics in general are very exciting, but especially when you feel a connection to the sport.  It's exciting to see team USA dominate with the help of girls from the area.

SCB: Your older sister Kaylie played Water Polo here at SCU. Can you talk about that and how that has influenced or relates to your time here?

 MP: She is my role model. So when she went to Santa Clara and I saw the experience that she encountered here, I knew it was the right match for me too.  When she played at Santa Clara, I had a chance to get to know the girls on the team as well as Coach Wilbur.  I immediately felt a connection with the team!  Kaylie's time at Santa Clara has influenced my involvement not only on the team, but also in other aspects of campus life.  This year as a captain, I am able to use ideas from my sister's experiences on the team to be creative with team bonding and motivation.  I am proud to be a part of my sister's team and to be part of such an amazing sports program!

 GO BRONCOS!