A tough loss fills
Water Polo team with
The Santa Clara
November 16, 2017
The Santa Clara Men’s Water Polo team suffered a devastating 18-3 loss against Stanford University on Saturday. Following this disappointing regular season finale, the team will move on to the Western Water Polo Association Championship on Friday and play the University of California San Diego.
“There are certain things I don’t think we did well in that game,” Head Coach Keith Wilbur said. “So it’s not so much the outcome of the game I am disappointed in, but the play during the game.”
He acknowledges that Stanford is a top team in the country, with an 18-3 record.
Despite the team’s loss last Saturday, he said that the team’s morale was not affected. Wilbur explained that because their game against Stanford was a non-conference game, it was great practice to play the highest level of competition before going into conference this weekend.
“Whatever we see at conference, they’re not going to be at the same level as Stanford,” Wilbur said. “I think that’s great preparation and honestly, we knew who we were going to see at conference a week before we played Stanford. But really, [the loss] doesn’t affect our mindset and our preparation for the last two weeks going into the first game of conference.”
Seeded sixth in the league, Santa Clara will play UC San Diego, the second seed in the league, this Friday.
Santa Clara has a record of 2-5 and UC San Diego has a record of 6-1.
“We played them three or four weeks ago. We both filmed the game, so I’m sure we’re watching all of their plays and they’re watching our plays,” Wilbur said. He feels they are better prepared to play UC San Diego now, compared to when they played them for the first time at the end of October. This time around, they “know their personality, [they] know some of the things they do and [they are] preparing for it.”
The team hopes to make it to the top four in the conference this year. Last year, they placed sixth out of seven and the year before that, they placed fifth out of seventh. The highest they have finished in the conference is third, so they hope to break into at least the top four this season.
“The last couple of years we haven’t won the first game and gotten to that top four so that’s something we’re shooting to do,” Coach Wilbur said.
Wilbur has faith that the Broncos are capable of getting into the top four.
Going into the game this Friday, the team feels even more pressure than when competing in important conference games in the past. Coach Wilbur said that the game is “just a question of handling that pressure [and] channeling it the right way.”
Contact Addy Camisa at acamisa@ scu.edu or call (408) 554-4852.