The GW men’s water polo team fell just short of making its first NCAA Tournament this weekend, as the eighth-seeded Colonials finished in fifth place at the Collegiate Water Polo Association Eastern Championships in Annapolis, Maryland hosted by Navy.
GW, competing in the Eastern Championships for the first time, needed three straight wins in the tournament to reach the NCAA Championships.
However, the Colonials opened the tournament Saturday with a 6-4 loss to the tournament winner, Queens College.
“Both teams were flat,” GW Coach Van Hoffman said of the Queens loss. “You have to win your first game and keep on winning, and that’s what Queens did. You never like to lose, but at least we lost to the eventual tournament winner.”
GW used sudden-death overtime to beat Bucknell University 8-7 in its second game Saturday night. The Colonials finished the tournament Sunday with another overtime win, this time against Navy. The 9-8 victory was GW’s second win over Navy this season. The Colonials had never beaten the Midshipmen before this season.
GW’s two wins were good enough to place it fifth in the championships. However, fifth place was not high enough to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
“It was the first time we were in the Eastern Championships and we did well, but I think we could have done better,” Hoffman said.
The Colonials are scheduled to play one more tournament this season, but Hoffman said it is not meaningful. GW is now 20-9 on the season.