With a sectional title on the line, St. Rita sophomore Daniel Burns and the Mustangs water polo team were ready to go.
Then the butterflies set in.
Playing against host Lyons Township on May 12, the Mustangs lost 16-5 to the Lions, one of the state's most consistent programs.
For St. Rita, it was lesson learned.
"Some of our struggles were 'Oh, they're Lyons. They've won state,'" Burns said. "Going against a dynasty team like that, there's some intimidation. It's unfortunate to go out like that, but we're very young as a team. We're proud because we didn't give up."
St. Rita finished a standout season with a 17-11 record. It was the Mustangs' first appearance in a sectional title match.
With no seniors on the roster, sophomore Chris Jimenez said the team can take the next step forward with everyone on the roster expected back.