On Friday night, the BYU-Idaho Mens Water Polo Championship took place in the John W. Hart Building. The Spartans faced the Knights, and after a hard-fought battle, the Spartans retained their lead and won 16-13.

First quarter

The first goal went to the Spartans. Three minutes into the game, Dylan LeBaron slammed the ball into the net.

The Knights managed one goal in the half, while the Spartans scored three additional goals in the first quarter, bringing the score to 4-1.

Second quarter

In the second quarter, the Knights started with the ball. Quickly, the Spartans gained control and drove the ball toward the other end. Spartan Dillon McCauley made a tricky pass to Richard Adams, securing the goal and bringing the score to 5-1.

After a missed shot and a quick rebound, Spencer Eyring secured the Knight’s second goal of the game.

The Knights made a second attempt shortly after their win, earning them another point as Eyring sunk the ball into the net. Kurt von Hack and Taylor Pittman assisted Eyring on the goal.

Spartans face off against Knights

Spartans face off against Knights Photo credit: Katia Brown

The Spartans scored two goals in a row with three minutes remaining in the quarter. Dillon McCauley and Richard Adams drove the ball past Knights defender Cole Baker.

With two minutes in the half, the Knights called the first timeout of the game. Tensions were high as they returned and Eyring scored a point.

The Spartans returned and Connor van Thiel Berghuys accomplished a goal in the red.

With one minute left, Knight Tanner Wishart stole the ball and drove it down the pool and into the net. With four seconds remaining, the Knights again tried to even the score with a goal from Parker Johnston.

At halftime, the score stood 8-6 Spartans.

Third quarter

The teams went back and forth for two minutes before LeBaron was able to catch a long pass and send it directly into the net. The Knights answered with a goal of their own from Eyring.

Wishart managed a goal halfway through the quarter, bringing the score to 9-8.

The crowd held their breath as LeBaron threw a tricky pass to McCauley who shot it toward the goal. The ball hit the inside rim of the goal and slammed into the net, bringing the score back up to a 2-point margin, 10-8.

After a solid shot from Wishart, earning the Knights another point, LeBaron returned a goal from the opposite side of the pool. After two more Spartan goals that went to Dallin Gariety and McCauley, the quarter ended with the Spartans up 13-9.

Fourth quarter

The Knights started with the ball and Wishart managed a goal within the first thirty seconds of the quarter.

Two minutes into the last half Knight goalie Baker blocked a goal with his face. Baker yelled for a timeout and it became clear that the goalie, already standing in for the team’s typical goalie, could not see. The crowd groaned and Baker was taken out of the pool.

The Spartans managed three more goals, while the Knights fought hard to overcome their deficit.

Ultimately, the championship went to the Spartans 16-13.

Matthew Kauffman, an eight-year player of the game and Spartan, talked about the effort the team put into winning the game. He said that the team had been practicing since the beginning of the semester and that they were glad to have made it to the championship.

“A lot of swimming laps to get ready, but it feels good,” Kauffman said.