Gannon men win CWPA Division II championship

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The Gannon University men’s water polo team continued its season-long undefeated streak and captured its second straight CWPA DII Championship in the process.
The unbeaten weekend was made even sweeter by the fact that the Knights beat rival Mercyhurst Sunday, 11-6, in Lebanon, Ill., to extend their perfect record to 16-0.
Before its matchup with the Lakers, Gannon claimed a pair of tournament wins Saturday, 17-6 over Salem University, and 10-6 over host McKendree University.
The two Saturday wins enabled Gannon to wrap up the Eastern Championship.
Thomas Squeglia scored three times in the victory over the Lakers while Robert Bolmanski had four assists. Senior goalie Bret Rehrer came up big in goal with 10 saves, and Riley Hinkley added a goal and three steals.
Over the weekend, Rehrer stamped his name in the Gannon record books by becoming the school’s all-time saves leader.
“It was kind of a surreal feeling,” Rehrer said. “I’ve been chasing 883 saves since I was a freshman and four years later I’ve surpassed that and have a chance to hit 1,100.
“It’s an accomplishment that I could not have achieved without so many people and great teammates, and it’s one I think will stand a long time.”
Rehrer was very excited to break the long-standing record that was set by the team’s head coach, Sean Morphy.
“Brett makes all the players in the water better and that’s the sign of a true leader,” Morphy said following the team’s weekend of wins.
“He has been a revelation for the team and has made my job a lot easier for the last four years. I have nothing but the utmost respect for him and couldn’t be more proud that he broke the record.”
Five different players scored goals for the Knights in their win over Salem on Saturday, including a very quick hat trick by Tim Baer, who notched all three of his goals within a minute of each other. Zarko Sadikovic, with a monstrous eight goals, led all scorers.
In the win over McKendree, Tony Squeglia led the way with three goals as the Knights beat the host team for the second time season.
Rehrer said the biggest reason the Knights were successful over the weekend was the major contributions that came from the team’s less experienced players.
“Freshmen like John Vieira, David Gallion and Bobby Bolmanski stepped up big time against Mercyhurst in our last game,” he said. “We also go down early in games but use the second and third quarters to expose teams with our speed and depth on the bench.”
The Knights will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 27, in New London, Conn., at the MAWPC Weekend, hosted by Connecticut College.

MATT NEWARA
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