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Dimitris Kyridis: "pursuing higher education in the US is a big idea and a huge dream for a lot of people"

kiridis interview

1. What inspired you to come to America to play volleyball? Why the USA?
The United States and pursuing higher education in the US is a big idea and a huge dream for a lot of people. It is the epicenter of the western world for many reasons. Even though there are a lot of issues with the USA as a country in many regards, the fact remains that it provides a lot of opportunities. Especially in higher education. The opportunity to combine my studies in biology with a sport that I love on a competitive level was something that I could not pass by.

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The Greek flag is held high in America!

Greek flag

Faki, the first Greek to ever reach the ELITE 8! Baka, shines indoors and on sand. Alexakou earned more individual awards this year!

Dreams come true for the graduate student, Faki, who will continue her postgraduate studies at San Diego State University after managing to become the first Greek female volleyball player to reach the 8 best teams in America with the University of Pittsburgh! Incredible Baka competes indoors and on sand in the same spring season and is distinguished as a top player in both! Alexakou’s titles are continuing, among others with her Big East Player of the Year, Honorable Mention All-American, and her entrance in the 1000 kill club!

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Hawaii Warriors... over the rainbow National Champions!

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After almost 20 years from the national title Hawaii Men's Volleyball won in 2002 (to be stripped later due to - now - dated amateurism policy interpretations; 3-time Player of the Year award recipient Costas Theocharidi's case would have been different in 2021) the Rainbow Warriors reached the peak of NCAA Men's Volleyball, winning their officially "first" title after prevailing against perennial powerhouse and historic BYU 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-16).

 

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Chaka’s Hawaii University indoor and Baka’s St. Mary’s on sand advance to the finals of their NCAA championship! Faki’s University of Pittsburgh Panthers fell fighting!

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Spyros Chakas
The University of Hawaii men's volleyball team suffered its first loss of the season to UC San Diego in the semifinals of the Big West Championship, on Friday night at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 22-25, 25-23, 16-25, 25-23, 18-16. The Greek OH did not participate in this game.
Despite suffering its only loss of the season in the Big West Tournament semifinals the University of Hawaii men's volleyball team received an at-large selection to the NCAA National Collegiate Championship and the tournament's No. 1 overall seed.

 

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Zoe Faki - The first Greek athlete to reach NCAA D1 Volleyball's Elite 8 - A hair away from the Final Four!

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Faki, Giourda, and Mpakodimou are representing Greece in the NCAA Tournament. UCF and Towson did not manage to advance to the second round, and now Faki holds the blue and white flag with Pitt reaching the top 8 teams in the nation! An incredible year for Papazoglou’s Odessa College, with the end result being ranked in 6th place in NJCAA Division 1!  

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Irem Elmas and Iowa Western -- 2021 National Champions!

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The Reivers (= River Pirates) from Iowa Western made history as they put forth an impressive team effort to capture the 2021 NJCAA D1 National Volleyball Championship. 
Saturday evening, April 17th, featured an unforgettable performance against Snow College of Utah, with the Reivers prevailing 3-1 (storming out of the gate for a 25-15 first set, dropping their first set in the entire national tournament to Snow 20-25 in the second set, capturing the pivotal third set 25-20 after a relentless back and forth battle, and delivering a compelling fourth set, 25-19). The pirate ship from Council Bluffs, IA, steered by Coach of the Year Alicia Williams, delivered a definition of teamwork, with four players in double digits, led by Irem Elmas with 18 points, 15 kills, and 12 digs. Joining Irem in the All-Tournament Team was Maike Bertens, with 15 kills, and MVP Yadhira Anchante, who had 51 assists, 11 digs, 6 kills, and 3 blocks. In recent memory, the 5th-ranked Reivers were the lowest seed to capture the national title, upsetting three higher ranked opponents in the process, including top-ranked, heavy favorites, undefeated and winners of 10 previous national titles, Miami Dade in the semi-final on Friday. 

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Epic Pitt - First Sweet Sixteen in Volleyball Program History

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Zoe Faki’s final year of college volleyball in America seems to be ending on a great note. For the first time in program history, the University of Pittsburgh reached the final 16 teams in the national championship! Pitt (No. 18 national ranking) first reached the 48 best teams in NCAA D1 for the fifth consecutive season and traveled to Omaha, Nebraska, for the NCAA championship on April 14th. It is the 16th time that the Panthers compete in the NCAA Tournament, and Pitt is one of the four teams that represent the ACC conference along with Georgia Tech, Louisville, and Notre Dame.

In their first match on the 14th of April, the Panthers quickly defeated Long Island University with 3-0 and advanced to the second round of the tournament where they faced Utah (Top-10 in AVCA voting) on Thursday the 15th of April. The Panthers managed to sweep Utah 3-0 and qualified to the “Sweet Sixteen” for the first time ever in their program history. If they manage to overcome the obstacle of third-ranked Minnesota on Sunday at noon, then Faki will be the first Greek athlete to reach the Elite Eight teams of NCAA D1 volleyball.

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