With a 4-0 record, the men's water polo team has high hopes for a season that started two weeks ago at home with its first conference tournament of the year.

The club team, led by captains Spencer Vespole '13 and Noah Perwin '12, beat its competition handily.

The team beat Vermont 17-3, Colby 12-4, and delivered conference rival Bates a 9-4 loss. St. Michaels failed to show up to the tournament, forfeiting its game.

"This is the best team since I've been here and probably the best team Bowdoin's ever had," Vespole said. "I've sort of looked towards this year as the 'big year,' because my freshman year we had a lot of talented sophomores. So we've kind of expected that this year would be a pretty solid year."

Looking to improve on their past performances at the annual conference championship, the two captains expressed a stringent standard for performance this year.

"We usually take fifth in conference," Vespole said. "Honestly, anything less than getting to the conference finals will be unacceptable."

Going into the first tournament of the year without having much practice time, the players weren't sure of their expectations.

After beating Bates, who had held it to a close game a few weeks prior, the team knew that it was prepared as it had hoped.

Although confident in their high expectations for this season, the captains both acknowledged that even an undefeated team has much to improve upon.

"We had three goals coming into this tournament," Perwin said. "That was defense, improving ball handling so we didn't turn it over a lot, and fitness."

Having substantially improved in each of those areas, the team is now looking for ways to improve its offense in order to compete with higher-scoring teams like Amherst.

Now that the team is confident with its strong defensive base, it is beginning to focus on honing its offense.

In particular, Vespole pointed out that the team needs to improve on its "one-on-one chances with the goalie" in future games.

"We'll win every game if we can hold teams to under four or five," said Vespole.

The team frequently uses scrimmages as a way to build teamwork and practice plays.

Both captains said they have been pleasantly surprised at how their players coming off the benches have contributed in games.

The team is also looking to utilize more of its bench players in games to give them the essential experience they may need later on in the season.

Vespole seemed unabashed at the team's overarching goal for this season.

"The goal is nationals," he said.