Ohio State freshman helps spark Cyprus to upset Spain at EuroVolley qualifier

Photo courtesy of the CEV

Ohio State outside attacker Sotiris Siapanis helped Cyprus pull off one of the most stunning victories at the CEV 2021 EuroVolley qualification tournament.

The freshman finished with 13 kills on a .346 attack percentage as winless Cyprus swept first-place Spain 27-25, 25-22, 25-23 on Friday in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Siapanis, who led the team in kills in each of the first three matches, was one of two Cyprus players with double-digit kills against Spain (2-2, 6 points). Outside attacker Nikolaos Eleftheriou had a match-high 16 kills to open the second-half of the double round-robin tournament.

Along with Siapanis and Eleftheriou, middle attacker Christos Prodromou ended with seven kills and zero errors on a match-best .700 attack percentage.

Middle attacker Angelos Alexiou led Cyprus (1-3, 3 points) with five aces — two more aces than the entire Spanish team had in the match. In addition, Siapanis contributed one ace in the victory.

Siapanis was one of two NCAA men’s volleyball players to compete in this match.

NJIT outside attacker Alvaro Gimeno came off the bench midway through the second game and finished with six kills while hitting .417. This was the most significant playing time for the Co-EIVA Player of the Year, who was primarily used as a serving specialist during the first half of the tournament.

Spain with this loss dropped into a tie for second place with the Republic of Moldova. The top team at the conclusion of this tournament will qualify for the upcoming EuroVolley tournament.

Latvia (3-1, 9 points) swept the Republic of Moldova (2-2, 6 points) on Friday to take sole possession of first place.

Spain and Latvia will play each on Saturday with Spain needing a win to remain in contention for the EuroVolley berth.