The excitement was palpable at Greason Pool this weekend as the water polo team continued its record-breaking season at the North Atlantic Division Championship.

The water polo team played host to seven other collegiate clubs in a tournament whose winner would advance to the national championship tournament.

Led by student coaches and captains Noah Perwin '12 and Spencer Vespole '13, the team quickly took the water by storm, defeating the Coast Guard Academy 8-4 and upsetting Tufts in an unexpected 12-10 victory that same evening.

Bowdoin's defense was later tested by Amherst, a team that routinely ranks nationally. The teams hit the pool Sunday morning in their third and final game of the weekend, but

Bowdoin took the lead early with a goal by Daniel Byrnes '15, but competition evened out when the Lord Jeffs responded with a score of their own.

Finally, in the last quarter, Amherst was able to out-swim Bowdoin to a 7-4 finish.

"Speed is a big issue in water polo," said Vespole. "Their defense led to a lot of breakaways, and because they're faster than us, it's impossible to catch them once they have the ball."

The water polo team currently holds the best record in school history, having lost just one of 11 games this season.

Vespole, a leading offensive force on the squad, attributes its success to a new level of organization and commitment for the team.

"A lot of people come in not knowing how to play water polo at all, so it usually takes a couple of years to learn and get the experience necessary," he said.

"This year, we have that experience and we're organized in such a way that we can monopolize on our most experienced offensive powers," he added. "We've also improved both our fitness and defense."

While Amherst's win on Sunday put it in contention for the national championship tournament, the Lord Jeffs' decided to drop out of the competition, giving Bowdoin the opportunity to take its spot.

One of the biggest standouts of Sunday's game was Perwin, whose skill and experience have put him in the running for an All-American title this year.

Perwin, who has been playing for years, had fellow Floridian Byrnes join as one of two newcomers this season.

"I played with Noah in Miami," said Byrnes. "It's really cool to be on a team with someone as water polo-smart as he is. He sees plays before they happen and his potential has fueled our potential."

Both Perwin and Byrnes' abilities will be tested again when the Polar Bears travel to Hamilton this weekend for the eight-team D-III club championships. Their first game will be tomorrow against Middlebury.

Vespole and his teammates have no doubt about their potential to succeed again as a team.

"We expect to win," he said.