This week, junior utility Alexandros Athymaritis sat down to talk with Asst. Sports Editor Miles Thomas. Athymaritis was selected as a Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) player of the week.
Miles Thomas (MT): Last week you were awarded the WWPA player of the week. What have you taken from that award and how have you used that to motivate you for this week and today’s win?
Alexandros Athymaritis (AA): It was a great honor to get that award. Here in the pool, we are working hard and game to game we are trying to improve our team. We have some tough games this week and next week ... We are taking this match as experience for our young guys to get some playing time and hoping for the next two games to improve ... as we go on through the season.
MT: What have you taken from today’s win [against Fresno Pacific] that you want to bring with you and the team for the rest of the season?
AA: More team chemistry and bonding. The younger guys were able to get inside [the pool] and get some playing time. The last game [against Fresno Pacific] was pretty tough so they didn’t have time to get inside and getting them inside to play is a great opportunity for them to improve and for our team for the future.
MT: Being in your third year, have you taken any sort of a leadership role with bringing up these younger players?
AA: Yes. As you’re growing up in your junior and senior year, you need to help the younger guys improve, passing your experience to the younger guys as they are coming in and ready to learn and get better. So I think the older guys with their experience are a crucial part for the team’s improvement as they are getting older as well.
MT: What parts of your game have you seen improve as the season continues or what part of your game would you like to see improve before the end of the season?
AA: I would say timing [while] in the pool. We need to be aggressive, we need to keep pushing and counter swimming-wise. We need to be consistent because in the past games we have not been consistent at all. So I think as the games are going on, [at least for] me, personally, I think I have gotten more consistent.