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Girls Water Polo Team Wins State Title
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2018-11-01

            When the bus carrying Upper Perkiomen's water polo teams home Saturday evening stopped at the Wal-Mart in Upper Hanover around 7:20 p.m., one assistant

Upper Perkiomen's girls water polo team displays the inaugural PA

Small Schools Championship trophy.

coach announced he needed to buy socks. Instead, the Indians picked up a law enforcement escort to the high school.

            Head coach Brien Kalnoski described it as a reward for their performances at the inaugural Pennsylvania Small Schools Championships. The girls won the title with a 9-4 victory over Fairview, from Erie. The boys also reached the title game at Muhlenberg High School outside Reading, but lost 9-6 to Springfield.

            Surrounded by eight trucks from the Pennsburg, Red Hill and East Greenville fire departments, an ambulance and a state police vehicle with their lights and sirens activated, students celebrated loudly as the bus traversed the final 2.8 miles back to school.

            According to Kalnoski, athletic director Robert Kurzweg organized the escort.

            After the girls won their title the coach called Pennsburg Fire Chief Scott Seip when the bus was 20 minutes away from the Wal-Mart on Gravel Pike. The ambulance and state police vehicle arrived at the scene to check on the commotion, then decided to participate, according to Kalnoski.

            "The kids were yelling and whooping," he said. "They loved it."   

            Playing with only one substitute, the girls posted a 9-5 victory over Springfield in Saturday's semifinal. In the final, the team scored consecutive goals early in the third quarter to snap a 4-4 tie. Kalnoski credited the performance of goalkeeper Abby Foreman and the team's defense.

            According to the coach, Foreman played the best three quarters of her career after a shaky first quarter. "Abby was just unbelievable," he said of the junior. 

            Upper Perkiomen's defense allowed few outside shots. "The unit was incredible," he said.

Kalnoski credited the contributions of seniors Bailey McCausland, Madison Modugno, Faith Kilbride and Erin Dunphy, who he said absorbed so much losing and heartache during three previous seasons. The coach called Saturday's performance a perfect ending for them.

"This is what we've been working towards," he said. "I didn't think we would end up with state title."

McCausland was a second team Eastern All-Conference selection. McKelvy earned third team honors, according to the coach.

            The boys – who lose only one senior, Kyle Kovalenko – defeated Upper Merion in the semifinals Saturday before losing 9-6 to Springfield. Upper Perkiomen got within 7-6 with 3 1/2 minutes remaining, however the Spartans scored twice to pull away.

            "I don't like to make predictions," Kalnoski said. "But I'd like to think, that with another year of maturity, this team will be in a similar situation next year."


 

 

 

 

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