Seeing double: Hungarian twins eager for second water polo season

Dora and Noemi Alaksza

Dora and Noemi Alaksza

Dora and Noemi Alaksza ’27, twin sisters from Budapest, Hungary, enter their second season in Pacific women’s water polo hoping to be strong and consistent—but not supernatural.

“There are people who think we have supernatural powers (because we are twins), which we don’t really,” Dora Alaksza said. “We were raised together; we know the same things.”

The Alaksza’s parents were athletes in their home country. Their father Bence played water polo and their mother Eva was a rower. 

The started their athletic careers as swimmers.

After four years, the Alaksza twins decided to switch to water polo. They played for Budapesti Vasutas Sport Club for 13 years. The twins guided the team to a bronze medal in the National Championship Senior League during the 2018-19 season. That same year, Noemi was named Most Valuable Player.

Water polo is played differently in Hungary than in the United States. There, the game is much more aggressive and faster. Teams are formed as clubs instead of through schools. The clubs include all ages, ranging from young kids to professional adult players.

The Alaksza twins are a dynamic duo when teamed together. They know each others’ moves and learn together as one. Sometimes Dora and Noemi will communicate without talking.

“Like knowing each other in the water so much, it’s not about not trusting the other players; it’s about the advantage we have playing together,” Noemi Alaksza said. “If there are six players on a team who played together for more than 10 years, then they would have similar connections too. Feeling every emotion together is something special.”

When the time came to choose a college, the twins decided to bring their talents to Pacific.

They had a teammate from back home, Viktoria Tamas, who played for the Tigers from 2017 to 2021. That connection led to them getting recruited by Pacific. They kept in touch with the coaching staff throughout high school before announcing their commitments in the summer of 2022.

During their first year, the twins were a part of the Tigers’ runner-up finish in the Golden Coast Conference. They combined for 78 points on 68 goals and 10 assists along with 36 steals and 11 fast breaks.

Dora was named to the GCC All-Freshman Team and was ranked eighth in the league in goals (46) and ninth in goals per game (1.9).

With freshman year behind them, the twins are looking to what’s ahead.

During the offseason, Pacific hired Candice Vorbeck as its new women’s water polo head coach following James Graham’s promotion to director of water polo.

The Alaksza twins have seen a shift in the team since Vorbeck took over. They are eager to guide the Tigers back to the conference tournament championship.

“She’s (Vorbeck) bringing the whole team together more,” Dora Alaksza said. “It’s fun to be at practice and to be with the girls. She teaches us discipline and self-awareness. She emphasizes the sacrifices we have to make. We are all fighting for the same goal, so everyone has to put in the work.”

“They are an integral part of the team,” Vorbeck said. “They are constantly finding ways to challenge themselves, and their passion for their team and their sport is infectious. They set a great example for others in their love of the game and strive for self-improvement.”

Pacific opens the season at Stanford with matches against California and Cal State East Bay Saturday, Feb. 3 followed by Biola and Stanford Sunday, Feb. 4. The Tigers’ home opener will be against Loyola Marymount and will take place at the Chris Kjeldsen Pool at the Douglass M. Eberhardt Aquatics Center at noon Sunday, Mar. 10.