COSTA MESA -- Orange Coast College men's water polo standout Gabriele Simonti will be continuing his athletic and academic careers at George Washington University, according to Pirate head coach Adam Lee.
Simonti, a two-year starter for the Pirates, scored 38 goals with 21 assists and 53 assists last season, helping the Pirates reach the Southern California Regional Finals and a No. 3 state ranking in the end-of-season CCCAA Poll.
As a freshman, Simonti scored 54 goals and dished out 29 assists to go along with 50 steals for the Pirates. His two-year career of 92 goals, 50 assists and 103 steals ranks among one of the top two-year careers in recent history for the OCC men's water polo program.
Simonti came to OCC all the way from Florence, Italy, where he grew up prior to coming to the United States.
"I used to visit California with my family when I was younger and I always wanted to get my education in the United States," Simonti said. "I had a friend who was applying to Saddleback and I asked him about Orange Coast and he said it was a great school, especially for swimming and water polo so I contacted the coach and started the paperwork process. I competed with the swim team, which I had never done before. It was a great experience and I made it all the way to the state finals, which was fantastic. I met new people that I wouldn't have met if I did just water polo. It's been a great two years here at OCC. I felt at home right away and I don't want to leave."
OCC finished the 2018 season 19-8 overall and during Simonti's tenure with the Pirates, Coast posted a two-year record of 37-16.
Simonti's new team, George Washington University, is coming off a historic season that saw the Colonials (23-7) advance to the NCAA Championship quarterfinals in 2018. Their 23 wins tied for the most in school history and their No. 11 ranking was their highest national ranking in school history.