Santa Clara, Calif.- Playing a doubleheader on Friday before Easter weekend, the Broncos split with Concordia and No. 4 UCLA at the Sullivan Aquatic Center. The Broncos 8-7 win over Concordia was the third win over the Eagles this season. Now, Santa Clara (12-13 overall; 5-2 WWPA) will turn their attention to four WWPA Conference Championship tune-ups at "The Bronco."
"We are playing a lot of conference games, but they are teams we have all played once this year," said head coach Keith Wilbur." LMU is a team we played the first game of the season, so I think it will be fun to play that game and see where we are at. We have played the other three teams pretty recently, so I think it will be a great preview for WWPA's. It's a great opportunity to see each one of these teams one more time to prepare for our conference tournament."
Santa Clara will kick things off with Loyola Marymount on Sat., April 4 at 9 a.m. Later that day, SCU will take on Northern California rival Cal St. East Bay at 2:20 p.m. The Broncos nearly upset No. 8 LMU 14-12 on Jan. 26, and defeated Cal St. East Bay 9-8 on Feb. 17. On Sunday, Santa Clara will play Colorado St. at 8:00 a.m. before closing out the tournament with Cal St. Monterey Bay at 4:00 p.m. Santa Clara previously defeated the Rams 11-8 on March 3 and the Sea Otters 10-5 back on Feb. 23.
While the majority of the Santa Clara student body spent their spring break on a beach or at home, the team stayed in the South Bay to continue to practice. However, Wilbur still found a way to change the scenery for his team.
"I think it is real important to get the team off campus during spring break," said Wilbur. "This year we went down to Santa Cruz for three days and did some training down there. We scheduled everything out so we could still practice, do some beach workouts and do some things down in Santa Cruz that were fun and allowed for a great team bonding experience."
Santa Clara continues to be led by freshman Julia Peters (San Jose Calif./ Presentation) with 35 goals and 33 steals. Peters shares the team lead in earned ejections (48) with freshman Elizabeth Anderson (Palo Alto, Calif,/ Gunn HS). Senior Stephanie Clements (San Carlos, Calif./ Sacred Heart Prep) has done a nice job between the posts all season long, tallying 139 saves this season.
Check back later this week for "The Bronco" tournament central page.
-Santa Clara will play their final 9 games at home at the Sullivan Aquatic Center with three of those games coming in the Western Water Polo Association Championships. The Broncos have fared extremely well at home this season, posting a 6-3 record.
-Three of the top five goal scorers for Santa Clara are freshmen this season while the 2016 class has combined 41% (93 of 226) of the Broncos goals this season.
-In just 24 games this season, sophomore Kaitlin Murphy (Carlsbad, Calif.) has set a new career high in earned ejections (37).