The National Champion Westmont Men’s Polo Team will have a final tuneup Saturday, April 5, playing against Westmont alumni at 11 a.m. at the Santa Barbara Polo Club. The Warriors will defend their title in the U.S. Polo Association National Intercollegiate Championship against Cornell University on Thursday, April 10, at 9 a.m. (PDT) at ERG Arena at Brookshire, Texas. If Westmont wins, it will advance to the championship game Saturday, April 12, at 9 a.m. (PDT) against either the University of Virginia or Southern Methodist University.
This year’s team, coached by John Westley of Santa Barbara Polo School, includes Jake Bergman, David Samaniego, and brothers Patrick and Tony Uretz.
The Warriors advanced to the championship by beating Stanford and winning the Western Regionals, which they have done eight of the last 11 years. “The biggest surprise has been our fourth player, Jacob Bergman, who has improved immensely and was instrumental in our Western Regional Championship,” captain Patrick Uretz says.
Last year, the Warriors became the first Western Region team to win the national tournament in more than a quarter century. “We need to stay completely focused, working and thinking together as a unit,” Westley says. “There can’t be any one superstar. They all have to be playing their best game and thinking as one.”
Saturday’s alumni team will feature Wiley Uretz ’12, Collin White ’10 and Ryan Cronin-Prather ’09.
The polo club was created in 2000, fielded its first team in 2005 and competed for a national championship in 2007, falling to Texas A&M. Unlike students at larger universities, the Westmont team members do not receive college scholarships to play polo.