Senior men’s water polo player prepares for future

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Gannon University’s fall sports season is now in full swing, and for some players, it may be their final season as a Gannon athlete.
Recently, Thomas Squeglia, a senior athlete on the men’s water polo team, shared some of his thoughts about his time as a Gannon Knight.
Squeglia is an Erie native and attended Cathedral Prep for high school.
He now majors in finance at Gannon and also is involved in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at Gannon.
Squeglia’s interest in water polo began at a young age, from watching his older brother, Michael, play.
Thomas was active in club teams as well, playing for both an Erie club team and one out of Pittsburgh.
His love for the sport then spanned into his high school years and that led him to Gannon.
In his freshman year at Gannon, Squeglia recorded 18 goals, 14 assists, 32 points and 21 steals.
He continued his success into his sophomore year, being named a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Scholar-Athlete and received the NCAA Division II Athletics Directors Association (ADA) Academic Achievement Award.
As a junior, he played in all 21 games and was ranked second on the squad in goals (54), assists (36), points (90), shots (99) and sprint-off wins (16).
He’s already off to a solid start during his senior season, compiling 14 goals and four assists for 18 points in five games.
He’s tied for second on the team in points with Jack Donnelly; both trail team leader Drago Marjanovic by six points.
Squeglia said although winning games and Division II championships are nice, they have not been some of his favorite moments.
“My experience since joining Gannon has been so rewarding,” he said.
“I was able to learn many new lessons in the pool as well as outside the pool.
“Connecting with others who love the sport like you do and showing off their talents has brought joy to my life.”
Squeglia also said that being able to play the sport with his brothers has been something truly special to him.
Thomas’ brother, Michael Squeglia, played on the water polo team during Thomas’ freshman season.
After Michael graduated, Thomas was able to get his younger brother, Anthony “Tony” Squeglia, to join the team as well and has since been playing with him for the past two seasons.
But with ups always comes downs. Recently the team has had to adjust to playing for a new coach, Shane Unger, as well as losing two of its best players from last season: goalie Brett Rehrer and defender Zarko Sadikovic.
Squeglia said that he and his teammates are all adapting well as a team and the Knights believe they’ll overcome the hardships they face in the future.
Squeglia said his biggest motivator through everything has been his mother. “My mother has been my biggest fan, supporter and motivator but also my biggest criticizer,” he said.
“She has pushed me to be the best that I can be.
“She has put countless of hours into taking me to practices and helping me improve my game. After a big win she is the first person I thank.”
Squeglia said he is looking forward to being coached by Unger, who is head coach of both the men’s and women’s water polo teams at Gannon.
Unger has coached one of the top club teams in the nation, the SOCAL Water Polo Foundation in Tustin, Calif.
Squeglia’s goals this season include becoming the third player in Gannon men’s water polo history to have both 100 career goals and 100 career assists.
He also hopes to continue his senior season into late November at the Championship tournament.
After graduation, Squeglia said he plans on getting a job related to insurance or finance and opening up his own agency.
He also is considering going into coaching, something he has thought about since his freshman year of college.