SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara, ranked No. 14 nationally, held its first practice of the 2011 season today. The Broncos are coming off of a third-place finish in the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) after posting an overall record of 19-15 a year ago.

Among the key returning players are senior goalie Michael Wishart who is a four year starter at goalie, senior utility James Case who led the Broncos with 59 goals in 2010 and senior Daley Meistrell who set the Santa Clara single season assists record with 57.

"We just had our first practice with 29 players, which is the largest amount we have ever started with," said Santa Clara water polo head coach Keith Wilbur. "This creates a competitive situation on the team, which raises the intensity during practice.  Also, about 95 percent of these guys played with a club team over the summer, so most of the guys are in good shape from the get go. This is a good starting point for the team, and we are excited for the upcoming season."

Santa Clara opens the season with the NorCal Scrimmages on Sept. 3 in Berkeley, Calif. The Broncos will play Pacific at 10:30 a.m. and California at 4:30 p.m. The first home match is Fri. Oct. 8 at 12 noon against Pepperdine.