By Maria Trivelpiece
Alex Jahns is a senior goalkeeper for the Fordham University’s men’s water polo team. He earned a starting position in his sophomore season and since then has made a tremendous impact in the program. Last year, he was a two-time MAWPC Defensive Player of the Week award-winner and posted 208 saves. Jahns sat down with The Fordham Ram to talk a little bit about his last season in the pool.
TFR: You’re from Connecticut. Water polo is more common on the West Coast than the East. How did you start playing water polo? What made you want to continue playing at the collegiate level?
AJ: I actually started playing water polo in my junior year of high school. I was always into sports. I played lacrosse and ran cross country during middle school and the beginning of high school. However, I would frequently get injured. A friend of mine who played water polo suggested it to me since I was tall. It was extremely difficult at first, but I fell in love with it. Since I became good in a relatively short amount of time, different coaches started reaching out to me to recruit me to play for their schools. I wanted to keep playing and keep improving so I decided to find a D1 team.
TFR: What was your recruitment process like?
AJ: I was recruited by a bunch of different schools but Fordham being close to my home in Greenwich and me knowing Coach Harris personally beforehand led it to be a front runner in my choosing process. When I came on an official visit I felt like the team was super friendly. I also found the environment was one where I could prosper, both in and out of the pool.
TFR: You didn’t play much as a freshman, but then as a sophomore, you made 33 appearances in 35 contests. What was the adjustment like from high school to college play?
AJ: When I came in freshman year I was not ready to take a starting position on the team. The level of play was so elevated that it took me a long time and a lot of hard work to earn my spot as a consistent starter. It made me realize that if you want to be considered a high-level player you can’t do it with just natural skill but also with a lot of effort.
TFR: A majority of the team is returning, but what type of leadership role have you taken on as a senior?
AJ: Being a starter since my sophomore year I have always tried to take a leadership position, whether it is during a game or outside of one. Being a senior means that there is always pressure on you to do the right things and behave in a particular way because everyone is looking up to you.
TFR: How would you describe your leadership style?
AJ: My leadership style has always been to lead by example. I do not often yell or shout at others but rather try to act in a mature way and put effort into everything I do with the hope others follow suit.
TFR: What expectations do you have for yourself and your team this year?
AJ: Our team is as good as it has ever been this year. Since this is my last season playing, anything short of a conference victory would be disappointing.
TFR: What are your post-Fordham plans?
AJ: I plan on pursuing a Masters Degree in International Relations.
TFR: What is your favorite Fordham memory?
AJ: My favorite Fordham memory was taking third place in our conference last year and beating Johns Hopkins. The season as a whole boasted the highest win percentage in water polo recent memory.