Olympiacos Piraeus take season’s first title in Greece

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Serres, Greece, April 7, 2019. Olympiacos PIRAEUS picked up the first title of the season in Greece after defeating AO THIRAS 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-19, 25-17) in the women’s Cup Final on Saturday night. It was the ninth cup title for Olympiacos - all of them consecutively since 2011.

Masterminded by MVP of the Final Four, setter and captain Styliani Christodoulou, Olympiacos totally overwhelmed AO THIRAS, with USA’s Regan Hood Scott at 22 points and Germany’s Laura Emonts Weihenmaier at 21 emerging top scorers of the final.

Evangelia Merteki with 16 points and Croatia’s Katarina Pilepic with 14 were the best scorers of the runners-up.

For Christodoulou it was her eighth personal Cup title, tying Romania-born Ruxandra Dumitrescu for the all-time record. Her individual MVP award was the second for the 27-year-old in the history of the competition, after 2014.

“I am MVP in my soul, but Emonts surpassed herself in today’s match,” said Christodoulou after the final. “She was the one who played her best game. But we are all a well-integrated team and we know how to manage games such as tonight’s one.”

Laura Emonts Weihenmaier of Germany, Georgia Lamprousi and libero Areta Konomi celebrate a point in the final of the Greek Cup against AO THIRAS.

Olympiacos’ win came despite losing middle blocker Aikaterina Giota midway into the second set, when she suffered a cruciate ligament rupture.

“Aikaterina’s injury was one of the difficult moments in sport,” said head coach Branko Kovacevic of Serbia, who celebrated his fourth Cup title with Olympiacos. “But the team stayed calm. We never lost our concentration and could even have taken that second set when Georgia Lamprousi put on the pressure with her serving. They all played for Aikaterina and we did it.” 

Previously at Serres in the semi-finals, AO THIRAS had pulled off an epic comeback from two sets down to beat Pannaxiakos NAXOS 3-2 (16-25, 31-33, 25-19, 25-18, 16-14) in the Cycladic islands derby to advance to their first ever Cup Final in the history of the competition.

AO THIRAS players receive their consolation silver medals after playing their first ever Greek Cup final but losing to Olympiacos PIRAEUS.

Olympiacos Piraeus had shut out AEK ATHENS 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-21) in the other semi-final.

The men’s Cup Final Four will take place in Ierapetra, Crete, the ‘southernmost city of Europe’, on 19 and 20 April 2019, with participation of Olympiacos PIRAEUS, PAOK THESSALONIKI, Iraklis Petosferisi 2015 THESSALONIKI and Foinikas SYROS.

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