The Greek flag is held high in America!
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!
Faki made history in her 5th year at Pitt, participating in 24 of the 24 matches. The Panthers were only a breath away from the Final 4 of the NCAA D1 Volleyball finals, and Faki became the first Greek female volleyball player to reach the Elite 8 teams of collegiate volleyball! The Greek outside hitter will continue to play in the American championship with the team of San Diego State University, where she will complete her master’s degree in Global Business. Zoe helped her team significantly, mainly from the service line and in the back zone. More specifically, Faki scored 23 kills, 9 assists, 10 aces, 41 digs, and 4 blocks in total. Her best appearances were in her games against Syracuse, Boston College, and Minnesota where she had a double-double with 10 kills, 13 digs, 4 assists, and 3 aces, respectively. In fact, her 4 assists and 3 aces were a personal record for her in two of the most important games of the season.
In one season, Baka competed in two sports and excelled both in the gym and on sand, something that no Greek athlete has managed to do so far. She even managed to win a spot in the All-WCC first team for both indoor and beach volleyball!
Elena Baka had amazing appearances this year for St. Mary’s College as she starred in many categories and was justly chosen on the All-WCC team. Baka proved that she deserved to be voted as Preseason All-WCC, as she reached 194 kills this season and led St. Mary’s with a rate of 3.08 kills per set. She also led her team in aces reaching 25, and finished second in digs with 161, only three less than the one above her. The outside-hitter from Thessaloniki ended her season with more than 10 kills in 11 games, including the last 5 games of this year. She managed to break her individual records in kills, reaching 17 (against LMU and Santa Clara) while she also ranked 11th among the best offensive players of her conference and 4th in serves with 25 aces.
The first day of May marked the end of the Beach Volleyball Championship for the Saint Mary’s Gaels season of 2020-2021. The Californian athletes needed 3 wins to be crowned sand championships of the WCC region. Everything went according to plan against their first opponent, Pacific, whom they easily defeated 5-0. The pair Baka-Cowell made an amazing appearance and defeated the opposing pair 2-0 (21-7, 21-11). Unfortunately, the Gaels did not manage to prevail against Pepperdine from which they lost 4-1 with Baka and Cowell losing 2-0 (21-15, 21-13). Thus, the Saint Mary’s Gaels finished in third place in their conference for the second consecutive season. After lots of hard work, Baka and her pair, Chandler Cowell, managed to finish first for the Gaels. During their season in the sand, Baka was among the four best pairs of her university, remaining in first place for 9 consecutive games. In total, the Baka/Cowell pair had 11-8 victories, achieving the 3rd most victories among any Gaels pair. During their season, Baka won games against top rivals such as No. 12 Stanford and No.11 Pepperdine.
An excellent course was set by Alexakou’s St. John’s for the 2020-2021 season. The junior outside-hitter participated in all 14 games of her team, offering 10 victories and the first place in the Big East conference after the end of regular season.
Alexakou scored 197 kills this year and reached 1000 finished kills! She got 5 aces, 129 digs,19 blocks, and 8 assists! She received a total of 213.5 points and was rightfully awarded the Big East Player of the Year Award.
She played her best game against Villanova on March 10th where she had 21 kills while on February 26th she had 17 digs against UCONN.
Seven times this season she recorded double-doubles, while having 2.74 digs per set.
Alexakou, along with Hui Ping Huang and Wioleta Leszczynska, are the only athletes in the history of St. John’s who received special awards during their championships.
Efrosini Alexakou, according to an announcement by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, was selected in the AVCA Division I All-America Honorable Mention team, for the Spring of 2021.
This marks the second honorary mention in Alexakou’s career following the same award she received as a freshman of 2018. She became the 14th player in the history of the program to win an All-America.
The Greek from Thessaloniki was a leading figure in the Big East with 4.19 kills and an average of 4.54 points per set for this season. With these numbers, she ranked 2nd in her conference and 38th in the whole country!
Alexakou won her third consecutive selection in the All-Big East Tournament team this season with 13 kills in the Big East Semifinal against Marquette. Furthermore, Alexakou was named Big East Preseason Player of the Year on January 20th. She joined the 1000-kill club on March 13th with the team’s four set victory over Seton Hall, and is currently ranked ninth on the all-time best offensive players list with 1,167 kills.
The junior from Thessaloniki, Ariadne Kathariou had another amazing year with St. John’s. She participated in 48 sets and had 60 kills, 8 assists, 9 aces, 26 digs, and 60 blocks. In total, she gave the red storm 101 points!
Kathariou was voted the best defensive player of the week twice this spring and helped her team take the reins in her conference in blocks, recording 13 kill blocks (1.86 per set) in the Johnnies two wins over Providence on the 19th and 21st of March. Her best appearance was against Providence on March 19th where she scored 12.5 points, 6 blocks, 6 kills, 3 aces, and 1 assist.
This year leaves a bittersweet taste for Leontaridou’s Providence since after 22 years, her team qualified for the semifinals of the Big East Tournament but could not go due to COVID cases. Nevertheless, the Greek middle-blocker played in 8 of the 10 matches, participating in 31 sets. Leontaridou stood out in her sophomore year after scoring 41 kills, 4 aces, 6 assists, 8 digs, 30 blocks, and 64 total points! Her most noteworthy performances are the ones against UConn on March 12th where she had 12 kills as well as her game against Bryant on February 14th where she scored 10 incredible blocks.
Despite the difficult year, Towson University managed to stay strong and win the CAA Conference championship for a second consecutive season! The Greek outside-hitter was a starter in all games, gaining 63 points in her 22 sets played as well as 51 kills, 6 aces, 65 digs, 11 blocks, and 2 assists. In the NCAA Tournament, Towson could not handle the Atlantic-10 Champions of Dayton, succumbing 3-0, with Bakodimou again being a leading attacker for her team.
Elena Karakasi of Syracuse University participated in 58 of the 59 sets this year. In total, the setter had 51 points consisting of 35 kills, 467 assists, 5 aces, 112 digs, and 19 blocks. Her best appearances were against Clemson where she scored 5 kills and 1 ace, in her game against Pittsburgh she delivered 51 assists, against North Carolina she had 17 digs, and she broke her personal record in the 3 years that she represents SU with 4 kill blocks in her match against Virginia Tech.
North Carolina’s Aristea Tontai appeared in 47 sets out of 18 total games. For the season of 2020-2021 the senior middle-blocker had 44 kills, 3 assists, 15 aces, 21 digs, 40 blocks, and a total of 80.5 points! Among the 14 games she played, Tontai stood out in 3: on March 27th against Florida State with 6 kills and 1 assist, on March 6th against Clemson with 15 points, 6 aces, and 6 blocks, and in her game against Notre Dame where she had 8 digs. Tontai ends her career with a total of 225 points for North Carolina and 75 for Coastal Carolina. Her best performances were in the following matches:
14 kills as a sophomore against Oklahoma
16 points as a sophomore against Oklahoma
6 aces as a senior against Clemson
8 digs as a senior against Notre Dame
8 blocks as a sophomore against Florida State
Lydia Adam of NC State competed in 14 of the 17 matches and had an active season in both the fall of ‘20 and the spring of ‘21. Adam had 72 kills, 1 assist, 19 digs, and 8 blocks in 41 sets with a total of 76 points. More specifically, in her game against Virginia she had 5 digs and 11 kills, a personal record for her course in America, while in her game against Duke she had 2 kill blocks.
Dimitra Tziarli made an appearance in 11 of the 13 matches, and even though she finished her 3rd academic year, she still has 2 more years to represent her university. With 13 kills, 2 assists, 15 digs, and 10 blocks, she completes her season and shows great signs of progress compared to last year. Her best performances were against Xavier with 4 kills, Illinois State with 2 assists and 4 digs, Northern Kentucky with 4 points, and Temple University with 3 kill blocks!
From her very first year, Stella Giourda not only managed to win the AAC champions title, but also participated in the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament. Giourda has participated in 8 sets this season, taking part in very important and crucial games such as the difficult match against Tulane from which the UCF Knights qualified for the AAC finals. In fact, 4 of the 5 total games Stella participated in were victories! More specifically, the freshman outside-hitter had 6 kills and 1 dig.
Life in the United States of America as an undergraduate student has come to an end for Katerina Papazoglou since the Greek outside-hitter of Temple University has completed all her terms and is now graduating. In the 2020-2021 season, Katerina participated in 47 sets, scoring 145 total points, 123 kills, 14 aces, and 8 kill blocks out of 18. Furthermore, she had 11 assists, 128 digs, and 4 double-doubles. She had a tremendous appearance against East Carolina where she scored 17 kills and 19 points, while against Houston she had 21 digs! Papazoglou ends her career by participating in 95 games and 315 sets. Her best performances were in the following matches:
22 kills as a junior against UConn
22.5 points as a junior against UConn
5 aces as a junior against USF
27 digs as a sophomore against Indiana
4 blocks as a freshman against SMU
Markella Lanara, a freshman at George Washington University, participated in 39 sets of 10 matches. More specifically, the middle-blocker scored 29 kills, 21 digs, 7 aces, and 3 assists for the 2021 season with a total of 49.5 points, ranking 6th in her team and 3rd with 13.5 blocks! Her best appearances were against La Salle on February 19 with the middle-blocker scoring her first double-digit with 11 digs and 2 assists, while in her game against Fordham on March 6th, she had 10.5 points, 6 kills, and 3.5 blocks!
Chrysanthi Stamatiou ends her first semester as an international graduate student athlete at Bellarmine University. The year went very well for Chrysanthi who participated in 54 sets of 17 games, having 119 kills, 4 assists, 8 aces, 121 digs, and 6 blocks, with a total of 133 points. Among the 17 games she played, her best appearances were in 4 games: on January 30th against Xavier where she scored her first double digit of the year with 15 kills and 15 points, on March 7th against North Alabama with yet another double digit of 17 digs and 1 assist, on March 13th against Liberty she had 2 aces, and on February 14th against Kennesaw St. she had 2 kill blocks. Stamatiou also ended her career having worn the Cincinnati jersey in 172 sets for the years of 2017-2019. Her best performances were: as a freshman against Utah with her first double digit of 12 kills, in her game against Texas State where she achieved a career high of 4 blocks, a double-double against Illinois State with 12 kills and 15 digs, and 13 digs with Tulsa. Furthermore, other great performances include the ones against UC Santa Barbara as a sophomore with 15 digs, 3 assists, and 9 digs against ETC, as well as her game against Indiana State as a junior with 5 kills and 2 aces, and against NKU with 4 digs and 3 blocks.
A disappointing year for Charitonidi’s UTRGV came to an end after managing to win 2 in 15 games. Charitonidi competed wearing a different jersey in most of the matches this year. The Greek libero participated in 30 sets from the 15 games played, and scored 2 aces, 12 assists, and 56 digs. Her best game was the one against UTSA on January 22nd in a derby that reached 5 sets! Charitonidi helped her team playing as a libero by making 13 digs, 4 assists, and getting 1 point.
Eva Athanasiadou of Saint Louis University appeared in 7 of the 18 matches played by her team. The sophomore setter ended her season with 15 assists, 6 digs, and 1 ace. She made her best appearance against VCU on March 19th, scoring 5 assists and 3 digs.
Zoe Sherolli - Iro Chounta
The season of 2020-2021 ended on a very positive note for the Greek players of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Zoe Sherolli and Iro Chounta. More specifically, Iro Chounta ended the season by participating in 33 sets out of 16 games, scoring 61 kills, having 50 digs, 9 aces, 5 blocks, 2 assists, and a total of 75 points! She made her best appearances on March 9th against UIC with 10 kills, against IUPUI on February 1st with 13 points and 3 aces, and on March 22nd against Wright St. with 11 digs and 3 blocks. On the other hand, Zoe Sherolli completed the season by taking part in 35 sets from 16 games, scoring 24 kills, 74 digs, 7 aces, 5 assists, and 0.5 blocks. Her best performances were against Oakland on February 23rd with 8 kills and 9 points, and against Northern Kentucky with 22 digs and 3 aces.
Georgia Tselepi - Olga Zampati
Georgia Tselepi participated in 3 of the 8 matches, while Olga Zampati appeared in 2 for Quinnipiac. More specifically, Georgia Tselepi played in 9 sets, scoring 23 kills, 11 digs, 3 assists, and 1 ace. Her best performances for this season were against Fairfield on March 28th where she scored 13 kills, 3 aces, 1 assist, and 16.5 points, but also against Canisius on April 1st with 6 digs and 1 block. As for Olga Zampati, she had a total of 7 kills and 5 digs in 3 sets, with her best appearances being the ones against Iona on March 19th, scoring 4 kills and 4 points and against Fairfield with 3 digs.
The freshman, Elisavet Papageorgiou, from Eastern Illinois University was present in 47 sets of the 16 total games played for the 2020-2021 season. More specifically, the Greek right side scored 8 kills, 7 aces, 1 block, and 28 digs! Her best performance was the one on February 8th against Morehead St. with 5 digs, 3 kills, and 0.5 blocks.
The sophomore outside-hitter, Nafsika Papavasileiou, made her appearance in 37 sets out of the 11 matches for Mount Olive. More specifically, the Greek outside hitter for the season of 2021, scored a total of 48 kills, 3 assists, 15 digs, and 6.5 blocks. Her best performance was the one against Converse College in the quarterfinals of the Conference Carolinas Championship with 6 kills and 5 digs. It is important to note that Nafsika was ranked number 23 in hitting percentage in Conference Carolinas with 42 kills.
Marialena Mpampiri of Lyon College participated in 48 sets of 20 matches! The Greek middle blocker scored a total of 76 kills, 8 assists, 16.5 blocks, and 39 digs for the 2021 season. Her best performance was the one against William Baptist on April 1st where she scored 14 kills and 1.5 blocks.
Stavroula Papazoglou was present in 9 matches with Odessa College. In her freshman year, Stavroula, other than the 34 total victories she helped her team with, she contributed significantly to the Wranglers winning the regional title and qualifying for the NJCAA D1 national tournament and even ranked 2nd in the country! Papazoglou participated in 14 sets, scoring 14 kills, 18 digs, and 3 kill blocks.