SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Following a week off from competition, Santa Clara women's water polo heads to San Diego to participate in the Triton Invitational.
The tournament, held at UC San Diego, kicks off Saturday with the Broncos facing No. 5-ranked UC Irvine at 10:40 a.m. in the first of the team's four games over two days. The field features six of the top 11 teams in the country.
"The Triton Invitation is one of the bigger water polo tournaments of the women's season in which there are 16 teams from all over the country," head coach Keith Wilbur said. "UCSD has a great aquatic center with two 50-meter pools, and it is a fun environment with two games going on at all times. We are excited to be a part of that atmosphere, see some teams that we do not normally see, and to play against great competition."
The Broncos (2-1) are coming off a 13-8 win against Cal State Monterey Bay on Jan. 25.
"After the first two weekend of games, it was nice to have a weekend off," Wilbur said. "It allowed some of our injured players to get healthy, and we were able to push our conditioning. We also were able to focus on more specific play sets in different situations such as timeout plays, after goal plays, and 6-on-5 offense and defense."
The Broncos, who will play either Arizona State or CSUN in Friday's second game in the bracket play format, have received contributions throughout the roster.
Hailey Eberle has a team-high seven goals and five assists, tied for first on the team with Gabi Sicat and Maddy Gomes. Lauren Baglietto has six goals and Sicat five. Lydia Dadd has started all three games in net and is averaging 10.0 blocks.
"I have been most happy with our team chemistry so far this season," Wilbur said. "We have had a lot going on outside of water polo, and I feel our team has really come together to support each other. We have become closer because of it, and, to me, those friendships and bonds are the best and most important parts of being on a team."