Men’s water polo sweeps competition at Bison Invitational

Then-junior Ridvan Pehlivan hurls the ball to a teammate in a game last season. Hatchet File Photo
Then-junior Ridvan Pehlivan hurls the ball to a teammate in a game last season. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Rob Bartnichak.

The men’s water polo team has found a rhythm in the pool.

After going 2-1 in their opening week of play, the Colonials returned to action this weekend at the Bison Invitational, winning all four of their matchups.

No. 20 GW defeated Mercyhurst 15-6, Penn State Behrend 16-2, Salem International 19-5 and Fordham 8-7. With the four victories, the Colonials improved to an overall record of 6-1.

“We were a lot more consistent this weekend than last weekend,” head coach Scott Reed said. “I would say there’s still a lot of work to do, but it’s a big improvement.”

Seniors Ridvan Pehlivan and Brian Mojica led the offense over the weekend, scoring eight and seven goals, respectively.

Though Pehlivan and Mojica stood out, nine different Colonials scored goals in both the Penn State Behrend and Salem International matchups. Sophomore Dennis Gut posted his first career hat trick against Salem International, and freshmen Ryan Michalko, Joe Behun and Noah McKinnie Braun all scored their first career goals.

GW outscored its opponents 58-20 this weekend, but Reed said he still sees room for improvement defensively.

“We tend to be a little slow when transitioning from pressure to zone defense,” Reed said. “We ran into problems against Fordham but started to sharpen up in the second half.”

After breaking into the top-20 national rankings this week, Reed said the team handled the pressure well.

“These guys have demonstrated so far that if we’re up or down they’re not going to back down,” Reed said. “They’re going to keep attacking, keep attacking when we need to be our best.”

Men’s water polo will open its home schedule this weekend against Bucknell on Saturday and then play No. 11 Princeton on Sunday.

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