Shock losses for Greens and Reds see Iraklis go top

A few days after their closely fought volleyball cup semifinal that went to five sets, Panathinaikos and Olympiakos both suffered 3-0 defeats in the league, allowing Iraklis to go top of the A1 division alone.

The Thessaloniki club defeated neighboring Epikouros Polichnis 3-1 on March 6 (21-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-20) and opened a two-point gap at the top over Panathinaikos.

The Greens lost in straight sets at PAOK (25-20, 25-17, 25-20) on March 7, with the host team rising one point above Olympiakos, which is now fourth.

The Reds suffered a shock 3-0 home loss to EA Patras on March 5. Led by former Olympiakos players Vassilis Kournetas and Giorgos Stefanou, the Peloponnesian side won 29-27, 26-24, 26-24.

Aris, in seventh, returned from Kifissia with two points after winning 3-2 (25-18, 25-18, 17-25, 26-28, 16-14). This was the eighth straight league match for Kifissia that went to a tie-break.

In other matches on March 5, Apollon Kalamarias stunned host Lamia 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 25-19, 25-22) to edge closer to safety, while Ethnikos Alexandroupolis practically ensured its A1 status, beating Panellinios 3-1 (25-23, 25-17, 32-34, 25-21).

In the women’s league, Olympiakos scored a precious 3-1 win at Panathinaikos on March 7 to leapfrog over its rival in the standings.

The Reds are now one point clear at the top with five matches left to play.