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Interview with Maria Genitsaridi

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1. In short, what are your memories of your career in America and at the University of Pittsburgh, Coach Dan Fisher, ACC & NCAA D1 Volleyball?
I think I should start with a reference to my first coach, Dan Fisher, who has managed to launch the program to the top of the rankings. He is probably the best coach I have ever worked with and he deserves everyone's congratulations. It has been almost four years since I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and what has remained beyond my memories are the excellent relationships I have maintained with the coaching staff and with former teammates, many of whom I have found playing in the Greek championship. I only have positive memories to remember from my career in America. I developed spiritually and as a player, I got to know different cultures and I traveled to places that I then thought I would only watch on TV.

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The year of the international basketball girls in US!

nomos ncaa greeks bball21 22With yet another basketball season about to begin, it is fascinating to observe the continuous increase in both numbers and talent level of international women’s basketball players competing across the US. From the national champions at Stanford adding Elena Bosgana, to All-Conference players in Power-5 and high/mid-major D1 conferences, to D2, NAIA, and NJCAA All-American prospects, this 2021-2022 season may be the year of the foreigner. 

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Non-stop double-doubles! Greek Red Storm… and Kathartic Kathariou raining blocks and points on DC and Philly… Karak-assist with a new career high!

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Last week, not 1, not 2, but… 8 Greek internationals recorded double-doubles in their stats! More specifically, the players who had a double-double are Zoi Faki, Alexandra Psoma, Elena Karakasi (two), Ariadni Kathariou (two), Iro Hounta (two), Ioanna Charitonidi, Elena Baka and Olga Zampati. Actually, in her second double-double Karakasi broke her previous personal record of 57 assists from 2019, with 58 against FSU! With this new record output, Karakasi rose to #44 in total assists in NCAA D1. On the other end of the state of New York, St. John was on the road this weekend, travelling to DC to face Georgetown, and to Philadelphia to face Villanova. Ariadni Kathariou helped her Johnnies by setting three personal bests with 14.5 points, 14 blocks (a new Big East record), and 5 assists against Georgetown in a hard-fought 3-2 W. Not letting up, the very next day the Greek Red Storm was out for more damage, raining 10 more blocks and 14 points on Villanova. After this weekend, Ariadni sits at #21 in total blocks in NCAA D1. Words are not enough for these girls… 

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Conference rankings for Ayhan, Illieva and Tore! New career highs for Yetis, Koyuncu and Ucar! Karacaova with another double-double!

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Beste Ayhan is in 2nd place in America East for hitting percentage and first for total blocks, while still Top-10 overall in blocks in NCAA D1! Mila Ilieva is in 10th place in America East for hitting percentage and Melisa Tore is in 5th place in Conference USA for serving aces! Hande Yetis, Sevgi Koyuncu and Irem Ucar broke their personal records and added new career-highs to their resumes with 41 assists, 8 assists and 48 assists respectively! In the match against UCSB, Sabire Karacaova put down 17 balls and picked up 15 hits!

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Yardimci: she may be a freshman but she plays like a senior! Beste & Ilieva: the double-trouble brings UMBC to the top of AEC! Beste: Turkish Golden Retriever… with golden blocking hands, 4th in NCAA D1!


Freshman outside/opposite hitter Peyman Yardimci recorded another double-double last week with 19 kills and 14 digs! Beste Ayhan and Mila Ilieva’s UMBC currently stands at the top of the America East Conference with a conference overall record of 9-0! Also, Beste is the player with the most blocks in AEC and 4th in the entire nation (112 in total)!

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Ucar the SWAC setter of the week… again! Personal records are meant to be broken by Koyuncu and Erdi! In the 4th place in NJCAA D1 for total assists… (drum roll) Alexandra Koleva!

Ucar the SWAC setter of the week

Irem Ucar was named the SWAC setter of the week for the 5th time this season! On the 15th against Anderson senior libero Koyuncu had a new season/career high for the second week in a row, with 34 digs for Lincoln Memorial University. On the 16th against Northwest, freshman middle blocker Asli Erdi had a new season/career high with 8 kills. Alexandra Koleva is ranked 4th in NJCAA D1 for total assists! 

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New season highs for Koyuncu, Yilmaz, Ozkan, Suvarioglu, Koleva, Temiz and Dokuzlar!  Hard work definitely pays off for Koleva, Karakaova and Temiz!  Ilieva joined the 200-kill club! 

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What a successful week for the girls! The internationals took over NCAA and NJCAA last week, since 6 of them broke their personal records! Koyuncu and Ozkan with a new career-high in digs, Dokuzlar in blocks, Temiz and Suvarioglu in kills, Koleva in blocks and aces and Yilmaz in assists! Koleva, Karakaova and Temiz with more double-doubles! Koleva with 44 assists and 14 digs, Karakaova with 16 kills and 12 digs and Temiz with 13 kills and 14 digs! In the match against Xavier, Ilieva surpassed the 200-kill milestone!

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