The Gulliver boys' water polo team captured its fourth state title in program history on Saturday, May 11 defeating reigning state champion Olympia, 16-14, in the FHSAA Water Polo State Championship game at Boca Raton High School.
The state crown marks the fourth of the year for Gulliver Athletics and 60th overall. The boys' water polo team joins girls' swimming, boys' tennis and girls' tennis as state champions in 2018-19.
The Gulliver Raiders and the Olympia Titans battled back and forth through the first three periods. The Raiders jumped out to a 6-4 lead by the end of the first period before the Titans cut the lead to 10-9 at the half, tied the score and took the lead in the third period. A late third period Raider goal knotted the score at 14-14 and in the deciding period, Rene Peralta '19 found the back of the net to put Gulliver ahead 15-14. With just over one minute remaining, Bruno Rebessi '21 stole the ball and scored, giving the Raiders a 16-14 advantage which they would hold through the final stretch of the contest.
In what was the second-highest scoring state final in FHSAA championship history, Rene led the Raiders with six goals and three assists. Bruno added five goals and three assists while JC Pompa '21 chipped in with three goals.
"It feels amazing winning a state championship with your teammates who gave it their all this season," said Rene. "It was a big relief when the final buzzer went off because all the hard work finally paid off."
Led by Head Coach Carroll Vaughan, Gulliver ends its season with an impressive record of 30-1.