The Water Polo State Championships were hosted at Zeeland. The Eagles faced the 4th East Region Team Saline for their first game in the bracket play Friday. The Eagles came out soaring with a goal in the first 30 sec by Claire Tuttle, and then Claire scored 2 goals within the first 2 minutes of the quarter to take a quick lead 3-0. Sofia Biriouk followed by scoring 2 and McKenna Brink scored 1 to finish the first quarter with a 6-0 lead. In the second quarter Grace Boeve picked up 2 goals; and Claire, Sofia, and Marley Persch each scored to end the first half with a 10-0 lead that forced the game to a shorter quarters for the second half. Hudsonville secured a spot in the semi-finals with the win 11-2 over Saline.
In the semi-final game the Hudsonville Eagles faced the Skyline Eagles. Skyline was 2nd place East Region team and Hudsonville had not played the team during season. Again Hudsonville started with a quick 3-0 lead a goal by Grace and 2 from Claire. The team struggled offensively during the second quarter with one exclusion on Grace and 2 exclusions on Claire, but offensively Grace scored 2 goals to match Skyline’s 2 goals in the quarter to end the first half of the game with a 5-2 lead. Hudsonville secured the game by with 4 additional goals in the final quarter by Claire to end the game 10-4 and Hudsonville punched their ticket to the state championship final game.
The Eagles faced the formidably familiar Rockford Rams in the State Championship Final. The Rams charged the game to take 2 goals in the first quarter while holding the Eagles defensively. Coach Ian Hewett gathered his team during the break and with his direction the Eagles poached the 2nd quarter with 3 goals by Claire and one by Marley. Hudsonville also gained control defensively holding Rockford to one goal to end the first half with a championship worthy score of 4-3. The Eagles scored the start of the second half with a goal from Grace followed by a goal from Claire. Also Emma Lamers with great cage protection to hold the Rams defensively to end the 3rd quarter 6-4. The last quarter were two evenly matched teams that held the score at 6-4 until Claire scored with 1:56 in the game remaining giving the Eagles a more comfortable 3 goal lead. Coach Hewett used 2 timeouts and the Rams used 1 timeout within the last 2 minutes to control their game play.
With a huge Eagle fan base in attendance, the Hudsonville Eagles won their 3-consecutive State Championship title with a 7-4 win over the Rockford Rams!