Water polo alumni Erdelyi, Obert Return From Rio Olympics
It is not unusual for former Tigers to go on to accomplish great things upon graduation from Pacific. For former standout men’s water polo team members Balázs Erdélyi ’14 and Alex Obert ’15, that greatness came in a form that only a select few in the world will ever know. Each man was selected by his respective country to compete in the world’s foremost competitive occasion, the summer Olympic games, which took place in Rio, Brazil last month. Erdélyi represented his home country of Hungary, while Obert earned a spot on the United States’ national squad.
Erdélyi etched his name in history as one of Pacific’s greats during his four years as a Tiger. Twice awarded the Peter J. Cutino award, which is given to the best water polo player in the nation, Erdélyi earned every major honor possible at least once during his run: MPSF Player of the Year, All-Conference, NCAA Championship MVP, All-American, MPSF Freshman of the Year, ACWPA NCAA Player of the Year and countless other weekly awards throughout his four seasons. He holds Pacific’s single-season record for goals at 96 and finished his college career with 287 goals, which is good for second all-time in Pacific history.
With the Hungarian team known as a powerhouse and a threat to win the gold medal at every Olympic tournament, Erdélyi proved that he could dominate among not just the best in the United States, but among the best in the world. And while Hungary ended up falling short of the medal stand with a fifth-place finish, it was in no way a reflection of the gold-medal caliber play from Erdélyi. He saw action in eight games during the tournament in Rio, and in those eight games totaled ten goals, five assists, three steals, and one block.
On the other side of the pool, Alex Obert represented the United States. Obert was considered as a finalist for the Peter J. Cutino after a stellar senior year in 2015 and has been named an All-American in three different years. Obert was regularly one of the top goal-scorers in the MPSF, earning First Team All-MPSF and MPSF All-Academic honors. It was common to find Obert’s name on “player of the week” lists throughout his run at Pacific, which ended with him tied for ninth place on the all-time scoring list with 157 goals. Obert previously represented the U.S. in the 2015 Pan American Games, where he helped the U.S. win gold by scoring four goals during the tournament.
Obert competed admirably for the American National Team in Rio, playing in all five of the United States’ games throughout the tournament. He scored two goals, and also posted two steals and one block. Unfortunately, though, the United States did not finish with a medal either and finished in tenth place.
While neither man was able to bring home a medal when the Olympics ended late last month, the two former teammates unquestionably did their respective countries and shared alma mater proud by giving it their all against the best players in the world. And while the Olympics may now be over, these two outstanding athletes will surely be viewed as a model for all Pacific athletes as they strive to make their school proud this year.
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