The Georgetown men’s club water polo team opened its season with an undefeated weekend of competition, cruising into a tie for first place with James Madison in the Atlantic division with a perfect record of 4-0.

In its first game, Georgetown faced off against long-time rival Richmond. The No. 6-ranked Spiders ended the Hoyas’ 2000 season, going on to finish eighth at the national championships.

The Hoyas, however, showed up wanting revenge. Up by one at the half, Georgetown pulled away, outscoring Richmond 6-1 in the final quarter to win 15-10. Assistant coach and player, senior Lee Conant scored seven goals, leading the offensive effort.

“[Richmond] has always been our number one competitor,” Conant said. “We felt pressure coming on to beat them, and beat them decisively.”

On the defensive side, co-captains senior Eiki Hatakayama and junior Marshall Spooner assisted in thwarting Richmond’s attack.

“The two combined shut down Richmond’s hole set and led the defensive charge,” Head Coach Sam Bakhshandehpour said.

He also commended the efforts of junior Rich Storey, who made his first appearance as a goalie this weekend.

“Rich stepped in and did an outstanding job in goal,” Bakhshandehpour said.

In game two, Georgetown went on to decisively defeat Virginia 13-6, with Spooner tallying four goals for the Hoyas.

Against league newcomer North Carolina State, Georgetown immediately established a 6-0 lead after the first quarter and never looked back, winning 14-2.

To Bakhshandehpour’s surprise, the Hoya bench provided a great deal of depth to contribute to the victory.

“There’s a silent air of confidence – something like we’ve never had before,” Bakhshandehpour said.

Duke, Georgetown’s fourth match-up of the weekend, was forced to forfeit due to an injury.

After a solid performance this weekend, Georgetown moved up from No. 18 to No. 14 in the nation among club teams, while Richmond slipped to No. 17. James Madison debuted in the Top 20 Poll for the first time this week, entering at No. 19.

Although the four wins leave the Hoyas with positive attitudes, Bakhshandehpour remains cautious. Last fall, the Hoyas defeated the Spiders early in the season, but fell to them in the division playoffs, losing their bid to nationals.

“We don’t want to repeat that,” Bakhshandehpour said.

Georgetown next plays against No. 2 Villanova in a non-division game Friday, Oct. 19. The Hoyas’ second league tournament kicks off the following day, where Georgetown will meet local rivals James Madison and Maryland as well as Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

According to Bakhshandehpour, the next tournament will play an important role in where the Hoyas stand.

“If we maintain this momentum, I think we’ll be the favorite to take the championship this year,” he said.

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