Five home events featured in 2023 Homecoming and Family Weekend schedule


University of the Pacific will host five home intercollegiate events as part of Homecoming and Family Weekend Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 14-15.

Opponents include Power 5 teams, nationally ranked squads and conference opponents. Several athletics programs also will host reunions or special events.

Volleyball will get the action started Saturday with a 12:30 p.m. match against Gonzaga in the Alex G. Spanos Center. The Tigers have dominated the Zags, winning 16 of their 20 meetings since returning to the West Coast Conference in 2013. Many alumni from the legendary volleyball program will be back on campus for a reunion, including members of the nine Final Four teams and the two NCAA championship squads (1985 and 1986).

The Tigers have a three-year starter as setter, Jenna Heller ’25, to quarterback the offense with veteran hitters, including all-conference honorees Alexa Edwards ’24 and Biamba Kabengele ’24 and seniors Ramonni Cook ’24 and Darina Kumanova ’24. Last season, the Tigers treated homecoming fans to one of its best performances of the season, a five-set thriller over No. 12 BYU.

All four teams that are home—women’s volleyball, women’s and men’s soccer and water polo—will host and recognize alumni at their home games and throughout the weekend at other homecoming activities.

At 1:30 p.m., the women’s soccer team takes the pitch at Knoles Field to face defending WCC champion Santa Clara in a conference match. The Pacific women’s soccer program has been rising under the direction of co-head coaches Danesha Adams and J.J. Wozniak. The program has won 17 matches over the past two seasons, matching the number of wins in the previous seven years combined.

With last season’s 2-0 non-conference win over Santa Clara, Pacific finished the non-WCC portion of its schedule without a loss at 5-0-6. The wins over the marquee program sent notice to the WCC and the women’s soccer community that Pacific was nationally relevant.

The Santa Clara Broncos won the national championship in 2001 and 2020. Santa Clara also has participated in the last eight NCAA Tournaments and won 13 WCC titles, including the last three. Pacific will play at Santa Clara Sept. 20 in the non-conference matchup this year before the homecoming showdown on the Stockton Campus.

At 3 p.m., the nationally ranked Pacific men’s water polo team will usher in a new era in the program’s history by hosting the first West Coast Conference men’s water polo match, facing associate member California Baptist.

When the Big West Conference began plans to start the sport this season, impacting Pacific’s former conference, the Golden Coast Conference, the WCC stepped up for its four core members that sponsor the sport: Pacific, Loyola Marymount, Santa Clara and Pepperdine. California Baptist, Air Force and San Jose State were added as associate members, allowing the conference to qualify for an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.

Pacific has embraced the new conference, filled with programs that were ranked in the Top 20 last season. The Tigers look to return to the NCAA Tournament to build on last season’s run to the national semifinal.

There will be a student-athlete tailgate Saturday at 6:30 p.m., before the men’s soccer game, for alumni athletes to mingle with current student-athletes. For more information and to sign up, visit the Homecoming and Family Weekend registration site.

Under the lights at Knoles Field, the men’s soccer team will take a break from the WCC schedule to host Pac-12 rival California in a 7 p.m. kickoff. In the last contest between the two programs played in Stockton, Pacific won 2-0.

The match will give Pacific a final chance to improve its strength of schedule before returning to WCC play. The Tigers are looking to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the three-year postseason run from 2016-18. The Tigers picked up an NCAA Tournament win in each of those three seasons.

On Sunday, Oct. 15, the men’s water polo team returns to the Douglass M. Eberhardt Aquatics Center for a noon contest against a former conference foe. UC Santa Barbara and Pacific were both members of the Golden Coast Conference for six seasons before this summer’s conference reorganization.

Over that span, Pacific won four GCC titles, UC Santa Barbara, one.

Admission for all athletics events is included for guests registered for Homecoming and Family Weekend. There is no charge to attend soccer matches. Tickets to volleyball or water polo for non-homecoming guests can be purchased for $10 for adults, $8 for seniors/faculty/staff and $5 for youth (5-17).

The signature event for Pacific Athletics, the Orange and Black Ball, is Friday, Oct. 13 on campus. Limited tickets remain and interested supporters should reach out to the Pacific Athletics Foundation staff at 209.946.2701.