Senior Cameron Saini makes a key stop for the Knights. Photo: Fred Assaf

The Knights wrapped up another season of water polo with a close loss to the number two seed, St. Pius Golden Lions, in the state tournament. Over the weekend, the team competed in four games, besting the Atlanta Public School team and Calhoun for the fourth time this year. Throughout the tournament, they dropped two games in the first and fourth round, both against the talented St. Pius squad.

Before the tournament, the Knights played three tight games against a very physical Calhoun team. However, the Knights brought their best competition to the second round of the state tournament, gaining a 20-9 advantage at the final buzzer. It was a close match in the first half as the Knights went into the break only ahead by four goals. The defense held strong in the second half as the offense continued to put in goals. Senior Cameron Saini and freshman Quinn Culpepper combined for 19 saves throughout the contest, while only letting in two goals in the second half. Junior Carter Freudenstein led the attack for the Knights putting in six goals and two assists, totaling eight points. Sophomore Avi Narula scored 7 goals. 

Moving on in the double-elimination tournament, the water polo Knights dominated the Atlanta Public School squad. Sophomore Lane Canova, along with the rest of the defense, held their rival to only 10 goals in spite of the efforts from their nationally ranked player. Again, Narula showed out for his team, leading the scoring with nine total points, seven goals and two assists. Junior Barrett Hight and Freshman Reid Richardson also had brilliant offensive performances, as the team survived and advanced with a final score of 19-10.  

The next day, Oct. 3, the Knights fell to Pius in their fourth and final round of the state tournament by only four goals. In his career finale, Saini tallied a total of 18 saves against the golden lions. “He has distinguished himself as the top goalie in Pace water polo history,” said Head Coach John Ague. At the end of the match, the score sat at 13-9 capping an extremely strong season for the Knights. With a final record of 14 wins with only five losses, the squad tied for the top spot in their division in the regular season. “In all, it was a very successful season,” said Freudenstein. “We broke the record for wins in a season, but I am specifically proud of how we came together as a team and played as one.”

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