SANTA CLARA, Calif. – In the wake of an impressive showing last weekend to open the 2013 season, Santa Clara University is receiving votes in the latest top 20 rankings released by the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA).
The Broncos are set to host No. 11 Hawaii at the Sullivan Aquatic Center on Friday at 3:30 p.m. It marks the 2013 home-opener for SCU.
"Our team always gets extra energy from having a good crowd come to our home games," said Santa Clara head coach Keith Wilbur. "Hawaii is ranked, they are a high-profile team, they are talented … they actually have some international players that were in the Olympics for European countries. So it's an exciting team to play and to play them at home will be a fun experience for our women."
SCU held its own against two top-10 opponents at the UCSB Winter Invite last weekend. Santa Clara used a balanced attack – getting notable performances from senior Alison Norris (Saratoga, Calif. / Saratoga) and freshman Julia Peters (San Jose, Calif. / Presentation) to nearly upset then-No. 8 LMU – the preseason favorites to win the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) title. Norris and Peters combined for 15 goals in four games at UCSB.
"I thought last weekend - for the first weekend of games - I saw a lot of good things," said Wilbur. "There are definitely things this team needs to work on and get better at, but in terms of talent level, how well-conditioned the team is and what they are capable of, I saw a lot of potential."
Wilbur also praised the play of two-meter defenders, Laura Burtness (Portland, Ore. / Sunset) and Elle Surber (Pleasanton, Calif. / Amador) last weekend. Jamie Swartz (San Diego, Calif. / Scripps Ranch) totaled 11 steals last weekend and Claire Eadington (Corona Del Mar / Corona Del Mar) scored five goals, while assisting in three others.
On Saturday the Broncos look for a WWPA road win at Cal State Monterey Bay, while also squaring off against Fresno Pacific later that afternoon in Monterey.
"I think we need to go out and set the tone by playing OUR game," said junior starter Jenny Anderson when asked about the conference game Saturday in Monterey. "(Monterey) runs a defense where they have two people in the cage, a goalie and a shot-blocker. If we put the right shots away and push our counter (attack), we should do well."
For the very latest on Santa Clara men's and women's water polo follow the Broncos on Twitter (@SCUPolo).
Friday, Feb. 1
No. 11 Hawaii @ Santa Clara - 3:30 p.m.*
Saturday, Feb. 2
Santa Clara @ CS Monterey Bay - 10 a.m. (WWPA game) - LIVE VIDEO
Santa Clara vs. Fresno Pacific - 1 p.m.
*Tickets for Friday afternoon's home-opener against No. 11 Hawaii are priced at $5 for adults, $2 for youth, seniors and students. FREE admission is offered for Ruff Riders and SCU faculty and staff.
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April 23, 2013 Broncos set to Host WWPA Championships
April 23, 2013 EYEBRONCO: Bronco Weekly Sports Wrap April 23
April 22, 2013 Five Broncos Named All-Conference in Women's Water Polo
April 17, 2013 Bronco Polo Prepares for Regular Season Finale
April 7, 2013 Water Polo Rebounds; Wins Two in Final Day of The Bronco
April 6, 2013 Broncos Drop Two Games in Day 1 of The Bronco Tournament
April 3, 2013 Broncos set to Host Annual "Bronco"
February 23, 2013 Eleven Different Broncos Score as Water Polo Sweeps Pair Saturday
February 20, 2013 Stephanie Clements Earns KAP7 WWPA Women’s Player of the Week Honors
February 17, 2013 Jenny Anderson's Late Goal Caps Fourth-Quarter Comeback Win for SCU Polo
February 13, 2013 SCU Polo Plays Important WWPA Game Sunday at 12 p.m.
February 10, 2013 Bronco Water Polo Drops Two Games on Final Day in La Jolla
February 9, 2013 Santa Clara Polo Once Again Nearly Upsets a Top-10 Opponent
February 6, 2013 SCU Water Polo Preps for Tough, Physical Games in San Diego
February 2, 2013 SCU Polo Sweeps in Monterey, Scoring 25 Goals, Winning Twice
February 1, 2013 No. 11 Hawaii Tops Santa Clara Women Friday Afternoon
January 27, 2013 Broncos Win at UCSB; Home-Opener is Friday vs. No. 12 Hawaii
January 26, 2013 Santa Clara Nearly Beats No. 8 LMU On Opening Day
January 15, 2013 Laura Burtness Looks to Start Off the Water Polo Season Right
June 6, 2012 Making a Splash as a Freshman