Despite a rocky start, the Gannon University women’s water polo team has started to right the ship after going 4-0 in exhibition matches at the Miami (Ohio) Tournament Saturday and Sunday.
The Knights began the season 0-4 at the Bucknell Invitational but turned the tables in the Mercyhurst Invitational a week later, winning three of four games.
After that they picked up a 17-11 win against Lindenwood University in an exhibition match on Feb. 23.
Prior to the matchup with Lindenwood, the team and fans honored seven Gannon seniors during Senior Night.
The next day, the Knights fell to Lindenwood, 14-10, as part of the Penn State Behrend Invitational. However, Gannon got up and dusted itself off and beat the host, Behrend, 17-8 on Feb. 24.
Over the weekend, the Knights traveled to Cincinnati for a four-game exhibition series. The team faced off against the University of Cincinnati for the first game and put on an offensive show, scoring a season-high 20 goals to the Bearcats’ 10.
Gannon rounded out Saturday against Carnegie Mellon and beat the Tartans, 18-4.
The Knights started Sunday playing Division I Miami University (Ohio) and won 16-5, putting them at 3-0 in the tournament.
They kept rolling on through as they won their second game of the day, and final game of the tournament, 17-2, against Calvin College.
Over the four games, the Knights totaled a whopping 71 goals over two days, the most so far in any tournament this year.
Senior Makayla Williams, a dual-sport student-athlete, just finished at the PSAC Swimming Championships in York, where she set a career-best time of 11 minutes, 14 seconds in the 1,000-yard freestyle. This concluded 17 years of swimming for Williams.
Williams said it was difficult transitioning into water polo after sixth months of swimming, and she had to re-learn and learn some new plays with the water polo team.
Williams said she has enjoyed playing both sports for Gannon; it has provided her with challenges and learning experiences that have helped her with time management as a student-athlete.
Being that both sports are in water helps her transition because the conditioning she gets from swim season translates over to water polo season. The only difference is she isn’t swimming laps in water polo.
However, she was excited to start back with the water polo team over spring break and she was happy with how the tournament in Ohio went.
“We dominated as a team and played harmoniously,” Williams said. “It feels good to get back into water polo again.”
She said it feels good to help each other become better water polo players and make good impressions on other teams — and, of course, win.
The four wins did not affect the Knights’ official record, and Gannon sits at 4-5 overall. The Knights will not play until March 17 as they take on Virginia Military Institute at 10 a.m. and then George Washington University at 2 p.m.
Both games will be played in Lexington, Va., at Virginia Military Institute.