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Alexakou secured the Big East freshman of the year award!


The 18-year-old St. John's outside hitter starting her campaign in the Big East conference tournament.

Significant distinction for Efrosini Alexakou and Greek volleyball, after capturing freshman of the year and member of the All-Big East first team honors. This distinction is especially significant considering the Big East is one of the strongest volleyball conference in US college volleyball. 

The 18-year-old outside hitter scored 389 points, averaging 4 points and 3.67 kills per set. In total, she terminated 355 kills, ranking 5th in the Big East, being the only freshman on this list!

St. John's was thrown into the battle of the Big East conference tournament this weekend, while Iro Hounta’s Virginia Commonwealth University and Alexandra Drosopoulou’s University of Illinois Chicago, completed their seasons.

In detail, the performances of Greek volleyball student-athletes in NCAA and NAIA competitions:

Efrosini Alexakou and Ariadni Kathariou

One win and one loss in the last two games of the regular season for St. John's before entering the Big East conference tournament.

Specifically St. John’s beat DePaul 3-1 (25-17, 25-27, 25-21, 25-20), and lost 3-0 to Marquette (24-26, 19-25, 15-25).

In the first game Alexakou scored 9.5 points with 7/29 attacks, one ace and 3 blocks, while Kathariou scored 8 points with 5/11 attacks, one ace and 4 blocks.

In the second game Alexakou scored 9 points with 9/30 attacks.

St. John's finished the regular season with 23-10 overall record and 12-6 in the Big East Conference, capturing 3rd place in the conference rankings.

In the Big East conference tournament, hosted in Omaha, Nebraska by Creighton University, ranked #9 in the nation by the AVCA, St. John’s faced #15 in the nation Marquette. Although St. John’s prevailed in the first set, Marquette was able to hang on to win the second set, and eventually capture the match 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 16-25, 19-25). St. John’s did an outstanding job blocking (15-6) but had fewer kills (53-60). Efrosini had a great game with 23 points, 19/57 attacks, 3 service aces, 2 blocks, and 11 digs.
With this semi-final performance, Alexakou earned Big East conference tournament First-Team honors. 

Super Kathariou – Visit by Nomos

A terrific performance – arguably her best match of the year – by Ariadni Kathariou against Marquette, scoring 9 points (6/17 attacks), 6 blocks, and 3 digs. 

Nomos’ team, headed by Tassos Kaburakis, was there to provide support and encouragement. Below follow pictures of the Greek athletes with the Greek flag and Sokol Center, Creighton’s home arena, in the background. Also pictured are Nikola Bundalo, Nomos associate, Bryan Weber (assistant coach, St. John’s), and Joanne Persico (head coach, St. John’s). 

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Elena Karakasi

Syracuse (17-8 and 13-4 in the region) is in good shape, with four wins and one defeat in the last five games. ‘Cuse Orange beat Virginia Tech 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-16) with the 18-year-old setter playing in two sets, having 13 pass-assists. Syracuse then lost 3-0 (25-23, 25 -20, 25-20) to NC State with Karakasi having 7 pass-assists in two sets. Syracuse in the last game before the playoffs faced Wake Forest (24/11, 20:00).

Katerina Papazoglou

Season finale for Temple University with two wins and one loss. The 20-year-old outside hitter’s team defeated Wichita State 3-1 (23-25, 20-25, 25-23, 24-26) and UConn 3-1 (18-25, 25-20, 25-21, 27-25), while losing 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-16) to Tulsa. Papazoglou played in every set of all matches and scored 28.5 points in total. Temple University completed the season with 8-22 record overall and 5-13 in the AAC Conference.

Georgia Tselepi - Chrysanthi Stamatiou

Cincinnati completed its regular season with three home games, all wins. The team of Tselepi-Stamatiou defeated Tulane 3-2 (22-25, 17-25, 25-16, 25-22, 13-15), Memphis 3-0 (25-11, 25-21, 25-18) and ECU 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-14) with Stamatiou participating in all 11 sets and scoring two points. With a record of 25-7 overall and 15-3 in the conference, Cincinnati captured 2nd place at the American Athletic Conference, is ranked #24 on the RPI nationally, and is entering the NCAA tournament end of November-early December. 

Aristea Tontai

North Carolina ended the season with one win and one loss in the NCAA. The 20-year-old Middle Blocker’s team defeated Duke 3-2 (22-25, 26-24, 20-25, 25-21, 15-12) and lost 3-0 (22-25, 15-25, 23-25 ) to Florida State. In the first match Tontai played in three sets and scored 5 points. North Carolina’s overall record was 8-19 and 4-14 in the highly-competitive ACC.

Iro Hounta

Virginia Commonwealth University failed to defend its title in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Hounta’s team beat Saint Louis 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 26-24) in the A-10 championships semifinal, but lost in the final 3-2 (18-25, 25 -18, 19-25, 25-16, 15-12) to rival Dayton.

Zoi Faki

With three more victories, Pitt concluded its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule. The 20-year-old opposite’s team, beat Florida State (3-1, 25-22, 25-21, 20-25, 25-19), Miami (3-2, 22-25, 25-17, 25-22, 24-26, 15-13), and Georgia Tech (3-0, 25-19, 25-18, 25-10). In the last game Zoi Faki played in two sets and scored two points.

Pitt was impressive in the regular season, with a 29-1 overall record and 17-1 in the ACC. It is the third time in history that a team remains unbeaten at home in the regular season. Pitt automatically won a ticket for the 2018 NCAA Tournament and will face Iona in the first round this coming Friday, November 30.

Alexandra Drosopoulou

The University of Illinois Chicago advanced to the semifinals of the Horizon League volleyball tournament. In the quarter-finals, the 20-year-old’s team defeated Milwaukee 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-23), but then lost 3-1 (24-26, 25-22, 22-25, 16-25 ) to Green Bay, playing at home and eventually winning the title.


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