Sports crossovers are a rare occurrence. When Gannon’s club hockey team took on the men’s basketball team in a skills competition last week, it was an exciting event partly because it was unprecedented here at Gannon. And now, they’re at it again.
The hockey team has challenged the men’s water polo team to a water polo match, which will take place at the Recreation and Wellness Center pool tonight at 9 p.m. Admission is only $2. In the spirit of the event, we at Edge have prepared a game-day scouting report on both teams so that patrons can know what to watch for.
Water Polo Team
With four goaltenders out of 16 players players total — two of whom also play offense — the team has plenty of depth to draw from. Senior forward Raz Yuval was the lead scorer this season, boasting 43 goals and 35 assists. The team will be looking to Yuval to drive the offense.
Jake Ouellette, Xavier Augustyniak, Danny Schneider and Nick Fagen will anchor the team in goal. Ouellette leads the team’s goalies with 34 blocks, only allowing 36 goals on the season. He doubled up on offense as well, scoring 14 goals on the season.
As a whole, the water polo players captured the CWPA Division II Championship in October. Over the course of the season, they outscored their opponents 206 to 184. Despite having some close losses, they have a lot of firepower as well as the experience of strong swimming and practice in the water. The upper hand in this matchup goes to the water polo team.
Don Sherman, the team’s head coach, said he’s excited about the event.
“We’re not going into this to win-win, it’s more of a get-to-know-you type of thing,” Sherman said. “Water polo plays Division 1 teams, and we definitely have a home-turf advantage of sorts, so it won’t be as intense as a normal game. The focus is definitely on the camaraderie, and getting connectivity between the teams.”
The hockey team is currently in the midst of their 23-game season, which lasts through March. The players are fresh off of a split weekend, beating West Virginia University and falling to California University of PA.They have lost only three games this season, one of which in overtime.
Recently, illnesses and injuries have plagued the team. This past weekend, Zak Tomblin sat out with an injured foot, while goalie Kyle Hartl is out for a few weeks with an undisclosed injury.
The team faces a double-header this Saturday against St. Francis University and University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Though they are still focusing on what’s ahead, head coach Fr. Jason Glover said he is also looking forward to the event.
“This is a great chance to get athletic teams interacting on campus,” he said. “It creates a sense of fraternity and unity on campus. It also gives student body a chance to take a break from their routines and have some good, light-hearted fun.”