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Thessaloniki volleyball stars shine bright in NCAA volleyball

leontaridou baka alexakou

Leontaridou is 3rd in the US for blocks per set - Baka; a leader indoors and outdoors - Back-to-back double-doubles for Alexakou - Kyridis with a new season high!


Astounding week for the Greek girls and boys in the United States, but what can we say about the ones from Thessaloniki. Thessaloniki’s little lion, Elena Leontaridou, collects blocks and breaks records in each set, holding the third place in the new season for blocks per set. Baka is a leader once again, not only indoors but also outdoors, with the young lady having 4 consecutive victories in the indoor and beach court, always with double-digits for points. Alexakou turned 21, and instead of asking for a birthday present, decided to give one to St.John's, a comeback win, scoring another double-double in her career. Kyridis broke his personal record with a new career high of 11 kills!
Elena Leontaridou - The Greek wall in Rhode Island - ranked 3rd in blocks in the US!
The University of Rhode Island was hosted by Leontaridou’s Providence in their local match on February 22nd, for the Providence Friars’ second match in their new season, before the matches in their respective conferences start. They achieved an easy victory (3-1) with the middle blocker from Thessaloniki blocking every ball! Leontaridou had 10.5 points, 6 kills, 1 assist, 7 blocks and 2 digs. The matches at Villanova University, scheduled for the 26th and 27th of February, were canceled due to COVID-19 cases . After her last performance, Elena has 2.13 blocks per set, ranked third in NCAA Division 1!


Next obligations
5/3 and 6/3 vs. Seton Hall University

Elena Baka at the indoor and beach court
Amazing Baka, competing indoors and outdoors at the same time, with one success following the other! With 2 games in the indoor court and 2 on the beach court last week, Baka had 4 for 4! A series of two victories for Baka’s University of St. Mary’s College indoors’ team, which hosted the University of Portland, 3-2 and 3-0 on February 23rd and 24th, respectively. The Greek outside hitter, continuing her amazing performances, had high percentages in both games in which she starred. In the first match, which was decided in the 5th set, Baka had 13 points, 8 kills, 1 assist, 3 aces, 4 blocks and 7 digs, while in the 2nd match (3-0), she had 15 points, 13 kills, 2 aces and 7 digs! It is worth noting that, for the tenth consecutive game, Baka is one of the most distinguished players of her team, holding a leading role! However, without taking a breath, she had two matches on the beach court on February 26th where she and her teammate faced Oregon and one on the 27th against San Francisco. They won both games[(21-18, 21-13)(21-10, 21-16)]!


Next obligations (indoors)
02/03 vs. Pacific


Next obligations (beach) 
6/3 vs. Stanford and UC Davis

Efrosini Alexakou- Ariadni Kathariou

As the Big East matches begin, last year’s champions, St. John’s University’s Alexakou and Kathariou, had one defeat and one victory against Connecticut. On February 25th, despite Alexakou’s excellent performance, the Red Storm did not make it and was defeated in 4 (1-3). Alexakou had 17 points, with 16 kills, 1 assist, 1 ace and 10 digs, while Kathariou had 4 points with 3 kills, 1 assist, 2 blocks and 2 digs. On the rematch on Friday, though, Alexakou, who was celebrating her 21st birthday, would not lose again! Scoring a double-digit number in kills and digs for the 4th consecutive game, she gave the victory to her Johnnies’ red team with 3-1. Efrosini had 20 kills and 17 digs, while Ariadni had 5 kills, 1 assist, 4 blocks and 1 dig.

Next obligations

10/3 vs. Villanova
12/3 and 13/3 vs. Seton Hall University

Dimitris Kiridis
Two defeats for Barton College this week with the first match ending in 5 sets in favor of Mount Olive with Kyridis breaking his personal record with a new career high of 11 kills, three blocks and two digs! The Bulldogs faced another defeat against Erskine, with the Greek middle blocker scoring 2 kills, 2 blocks and one dig.

Next obligations:

1/3 vs. Emmanuel
5/3 vs. King
6/3 vs. Lees-McRae

Fay Bakodimou vs. Katerina Papazoglou

Another Greek civil war occured, with Fay Bakodimou leaving no room for Katerina Papazoglou. Papazoglou’s Temple University hosted Bakodimou’s Towson University and lost (1-3). Both of the Greek ladies fought hard but Fay got the ‘dub’, and with 11.5 points (7 kills, 4 aces, 1 block and 12 digs) led her team. In fact, Bakodimou set a new individual record with her 12 digs. On the other hand, Papazoglou with a good performance did not manage to change the result, despite her 8 points (7 kills, 1 assist, 1 ace and 4 digs).


Next obligations for Bakodimou
5/3 and 7/3 vs. University of Delaware

Katerina Papazoglou
Incredible home victory for Temple University and Katerina Papazoglou against Delaware! With Papazoglou being the top scorer, the Temple Owls managed to get this very important win (25-23, 25-22, 23-25, 21-25, 15-8) and now they have a 6-4 (wins to defeats) record. Papazoglou had an awesome performance scoring 19 total points and making the second double-double of the year for kills and digs. More specifically, she had 17 kills, 2 assists, 4 blocks and 14 digs!


Next obligations:
7/3 vs. University of Connecticut

Christos Gitersos
February left a sweet taste for Limestone University (5-4) and Christos Gitersos after having another victory, this time against Tusculum University (25-18, 25-16, 23-25, 25-16). Gitersos, as in every other match, organized his team's attack and contributed significantly to its victory with 1 kill, 44 assists, 1 ace, 1 block and 4 digs. The Limestone Saints had another match scheduled with Lincoln Memorial on February 27th which was postponed to March 14th.


Next obligations:
02/03 vs. Lees McRae
06/03 vs. Belmont Abbey


Spyros Chakas- Dimitris Mouchlias
Spyros Chaka’s University of Hawaii in the Big West conference had a great start with 4 victories and the Greek outside hitter is making steady strides. In the premiere of the championship on February 21st and 22nd, they faced Irvine and they won both matches (3-1 and 3-0). Chakas played in a total of 4 sets and had 7 points, 4 kills, 5 blocks, 1 assist and 3 digs. Then, they faced UC San Diego on February 24th and 25th, where they had two sweeps. Chakas participated in 2 sets, with 4 kills and 1 dig in the first match, while in the rematch he was one of the best players of the match, participating in all 3 sets, with 9 points, 6 kills, 3 aces and 3 digs. Mouchlias did not play as he is recovering.


Next obligations
11/3 and 12/3 vs. CSUN

Marialena Mpampiri

What a crazy week for Mpampiri’s Lyon College! They faced 5 teams this week with a total record of 2 wins and 3 losses. On February 22nd they had their first defeat of the week against Crowleys Ridge College with the game ending after five sets and Mpampiri having 7 kills, 1 assist, 1 ace, 1 block and 3 digs. The next two games followed with a 3-1 victory on February 23rd against Freed-Hardeman University and another 3-1 victory against Philander Smith College, with Mpampiri taking part in the second match, scoring 3 kills, 1 assist, 2 aces, 1 block and 7 digs! Friday's game was followed by a 2-3 defeat in favor of the College of the Ozarks with the Greek middle blocker scoring 5 kills. In the last match of this week, another difficult game ended in favor of John Brown University in 5 sets. The Greek middle blocker did not participate in this match.


Next obligations:
2/03 vs. Freed- Hardeman University
6/03 and 7/03 vs. Trinity International University


Lydia Adam
Lydia Adam's North Carolina University is back in business! NC State’s Wolfpack welcomed Duke University on February 26th and after a 3-2 win (25-16, 14-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-6) managed to record their first victory for 2021. Adam played in 3 of the 5 sets having 5 kills, 1 block and 1 dig. In the Greek-Cypriot matchup with Duke’s Stavrinidis, both the Greek Lydia (5/21 kills, 1 block, 1 dig) and the Cypriot middle blocker (2/11 kills, 1 assist, 2 aces, 3 blocks, 1 dig) offered a total of 5.5 points to their teams.


Next obligations 
5/3 vs. Notre Dame
6/3 vs. Miami University


Mixalis Kagialis-Nikos Kalagasidis
Kagialis and Kalagasidis are back on duty with Simpson University for good, after playing 4 matches already. On February 21st, having their first match and victory, they faced Pacific Union College where the young Greeks participated throughout the match. Kagialis had 2 kills, 5 aces and 1 dig and Kalagasidis had 27 assists, 7 aces, 1 block solo and 2 digs. Then, they had 3 games in 2 days with Benedictine University at Mesa which ended with BU getting all 3 [0-3, 1-3, 0-3]. In total, Kagialis had 8 kills, 6 blocks (1 being solo ) and 10 digs, while Kalagasidis had 67 assists (17-25-25), 4 aces, 7 blocks (1 being solo) and 13 digs in 8 sets.


Next obligations:
1/03 vs. UC Merced
5/3 and 6/3 vs. University of Saint Katherine

Iro Chounta-Zoe Sherolli

Two more defeats for Sherolli’s and Chounta’s Green Bay against Oakland on February 22nd and 23rd. In the first match,which ended 1-3, Chounta took part in two sets, scoring 2 kills, 1 block and 2 digs. Respectively, Zoe Sheroli, who had another good start, scored 4 kills, 1 ace, 1 assist and 11 digs! In the second match, after a very intense game, Green Bay gave in with the match ending 2-3. Despite the results, Sheroli worked her magic again, scoring 8 kills, 1 assist, 1 ace and 16 digs! Iro Chounta did not take part in this match.

Next obligations:
1/3 and 2/3 vs. Purdue Fort Wayne


Dimitra Tziarli
Difficult as the Cincinnati region rivalry always is, was the last match of February for the University of Cincinnati (4-3) and Dimitra Tziarli. On February 23rd, Tziarli's team visited neighboring Kentucky to face Northern Kentucky University and lost after 3 games (25-18, 25-20, 25-17). The young middle blocker played in all 3 games, scoring 3 kills and 2 blocks.

Next obligations:
4/3 and 5/3 vs. University of South Florida

Ioanna Charitonidi

Another 2 defeats (3-0) for the university of Ioanna Charitonidi’s UTRGV, with a 0-8 ratio so far in the WAC region. Charitonidi participated only in one of the two matches against the Grand Canyon, as a libero, with 59% for passing, 1 assist and 8 digs.

Next obligations
1/3 and 2/3 vs. California Baptist


Chrysanthi Stamatiou
Bellarmine University continues to walk a difficult path since it had two more defeats against Lipscomb University this week (0-3 for both matches). The Greek outside hitter, taking part in 3 out of the 6 sets in both matches, had 6 kills, 4 digs, 1 ace and 1 block.

Next obligations:
6/3 and 7/3 vs. University of North Alabama


Eva Athanasiadou
A difficult week for Athanasiadou’s Saint Louis as they had difficult matches against #24-ranked Marquette (1-3) and Big-12 power and nationally ranked in the fall Iowa State (0-3). The Greek setter participated more in the second match, scoring 4 assists and 1 ace. In Sunday's game (28/2), she took part in 1 set, recording 1 dig.

Next obligations:
5/3 vs. Duquesne


Aristea Tontai
The first home defeat of this season for Tontai’s North Carolina at Chapel Hill came against East Carolina University (25-23,25-23,25-16). In this match, the young middle blocker participated in 2 of the 3 sets having 6.5 points, 5 kills and 1.5 from blocks.

Next obligations:
05/03 vs. Syracuse University
06/03 vs. Clemson University


Markella Lanara
George Washington lost to Rhode Island 0-3. Despite the result, the Greek middle blocker took part in all 3 sets and had 3 kills and 1 ace.
Next obligations:
6/3 vs. Fordham
7/3 vs. Howard


Nafsika Papavasileiou
Not that strong of a start for Mount Olive with Sunday's game ending in favor of Emmanuel College with 1-3 in Conference Carolinas debut. Nafsika Papavasileiou took part in all 4 sets, scoring 4 kills, 2 blocks and 3 digs. She had a substantial and instrumental participation in the set that her team won after helping critically in defense, blocking from the right side, and offensively helping where and when her team needed her.

Next obligations:
1/3 vs. Erskine College
5/3 vs. Lees-McRae College
6/3 vs. King University

Elisavet Papageorgiou

Papageorgiou's Eastern Illinois continues to walk at a 0-7 ratio with difficulty, as it had 3 defeats this week. Specifically, on February 21st and 22nd, they  faced UT Martin with the result being 0-3 in favor of the opposing team, and Papageorgiou having a total of 3 kills and 5 digs in both matches. In Sunday's match (28/2) she participated in 1 set, scoring 2 kills, 1 dig and 1 block.

Next obligations:
1/3 vs. Austin Peay
7/3 and 8/3 vs. Tennessee State

Stella Antypa

Antypa’s Rutgers once again had to face a tough opponent in the very strong Big10 conference. In the first match against The Ohio State University on February 26th, they lost (3-0) while in the replay of the match on the 27th, they lost in the details with 3-2 (16-14 tie break), after a shocking match with the top-20 and undefeated Ohio State. Antypa participated in a total of 3 sets supporting her team defensively.

Next obligations
5/3 and 6/3 vs. Michigan

Alexandra Drosopoulou

Milwaukee broke Alexandra Drossopoulou's UIC’s winning streak with the first match ending 1-3 in favor of Milwaukee. In the second match though, the Flames got revenge with a 3-1 victory after a very balanced and competitive game. The Greek outside hitter/libero did not take part in these matches.

Next obligations:
2/3 vs. Oakland

Lida Kastanou

Awesome week for Lida’s Kastanou Bradley University (6-3) after 3 wins. More specifically, the Bradley Braves faced Evansville University on the 21st (25-19, 25-20, 18-25,27-25) and the 22nd (29-27,25-19, 25-14) and Southern Illinois on the 28th of February. (20-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-15). The 3 matches were victorious but the right side did not participate in any match.

Next obligations:
1/3 vs. Southern Illinois

Marianna Anastasiadi

Marianna Anastasiadis's Auburn University at Montgomery premiered welcoming the University of West Alabama on February 24th. AUM left no room for the UWA and took the victory in 4 sets (25-14, 25-22, 19-25, 25-20) marking their first victory for 2021. The freshman did not participate in this match.

Next obligations:
6/3 vs. University of West Georgia and Valdosta State University


Stavroula Papazoglou
Stavroula’s Papazoglou Odessa College had 3 for 3 this week and now having an excellent 16-2 ratio with 8 wins in a row! Despite having 3 matches this week, the Odessa Wranglers never lost their energy and had 3 easy "sweeps" against the New Mexico Military Institute (25-21,25-14,25-21), Clarendon College (25-17, 25-16,25-15) and Midland College (25-9,25-14,25-18). Papazoglou did not participate in the above competitions.

Next obligations:
3/3 vs. Frank Phillips College
6/3 vs. New Mexico Military Institute


Stella Gkiourda
Stella’s Giourda University of Central Florida (8-1) lost their winning streak after suffering their first defeat against The Florida State University. While the UCF Knights were ahead 2-0, FSU made the comeback and took the victory after 5 intense sets (25-22, 27-25, 11-25, 21-25, 6-15). Stella Giourda did not participate in this match. They also had two other matches scheduled with University of Miami on the 26th and 28th which were canceled.

Next obligations:
5/3 and 6/3 vs. East Carolina University


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