An amazing performance by Christos Gitersos after breaking last year’s personal record of 46 assists, having 51 against Queens University of Charlotte, also scoring his first double-double of the year with 51 assists and 10 digs. Giourda’s University of Central Florida ranks 1st place with 5 wins while Papazoglou’s Temple University ranks 2nd, neither of which have suffered any defeats.
Ioanna Krimili is having a great start in the month of February helping her team get two wins against Saint Mary’s (CA) and Pacific University this past week. Her team started the month 2-0 and Krimili was awarded yet again the Freshman of the Week award, her 8th in 11 weeks! She also received a national award this past week, as NCAA D1 "High Major Player of the Week" from CollegeSportsMadness.com.
What inspired you to come to America to play volleyball? Why did you choose the U.S?
The first time I thought of America as an option was in high school when I started preparing for the Panhellenic Examinations. That was when I realized that I would have to choose between volleyball and school/getting a degree, not only during my preparation for the Panhellenic Examinations but also while I would be studying in a Greek university. The U.S. seemed to be the best choice because not only can one combine their academic and athletic careers, but also because I would be able to focus on becoming a better player which would give me a great opportunity to develop as an exceptional athlete. Furthermore, I have always liked to surround myself in new environments, try new things, and live outside Greece even if it is for a short period of time.
Ioanna Krimili had a memorable January, and to cap it all off she is the first WCC player to receive the Player of the Week twice, while also receiving her 7th Freshman of the Week award in 10 weeks of action!
Another remarkable appearance in the books for Elena Baka who scored 19.5 points and led Saint Mary’s College to yet another victory. Christos Gitersos’ excellent appearance raises the bar with 34 assists. Stavroula Papazoglou’s Odessa College had an incredible start with 7 wins and just one defeat.
1. What inspired you to come to the United States and play volleyball? Why USA?
The truth is that coming to the United States to play volleyball and study was a dream of mine since I was a child. In high school I was constantly watching teams’ highlights from different universities and that was my first contact with college volleyball in the USA. I believe that the USA is one of the few countries, if not the only one, which has many facilities available for the athlete and can help one combine education and sports at a high level.
With the support of NOMOS, 19 female Turkish athletes and 1 Turkish male athlete will compete this upcoming season in intercollegiate athletics in the States.
We are proud of our student athletes who have taken a big step towards their future and will be competing in USA’s elite leagues.
Shortly before the resumption of collegiate volleyball championships in the U.S., NCAA conferences announced the athletes that they expect to have a significant impact on their teams and conferences based on their output and performance last year (2019-2020). Following a vote by all the coaches, Efrosini Alexakou, representing St. John’s University in New York, was named Preseason Big East Volleyball Player of the Year, while her team was unanimously voted the best team in the Big East Eastern Division. On the other side of the U.S., Elena Baka of St. Mary’s College in California, who competes in the West Coast Conference, was selected as one of the best athletes in its region and was therefore declared Preseason ALL-WCC. It is noteworthy that Elena Baka will also play beach volleyball this spring season for her university.
1. Elena, what inspired you to come to the United States and play volleyball? Why USA?
The main reason why I decided to come to the United States and play volleyball was the opportunity that I was given to play the sport that I love and complete my studies at a high level. Unfortunately, with the way the education system in Greece is structured, in order to succeed you usually have to let go one of these two. I wanted both of them.
I believe that my inspiration was the American setter Kristin Carpenter (NCAA champion), who I was lucky enough to have as a teammate. I was 14 years old and she was a young well trained athlete, with a great technique and athletic morals. I couldn’t ask for a better role model and actually admiring her every day during practice.