SPORTS

Shock losses for volleyball title contenders, as Ethnikos shines

Upsets in the new volleyball league continue to come thick and fast, as champion Olympiakos suffered its second loss in as many games and contender Iraklis went down at home to Kifissia. Newly promoted Ethnikos Alexandroupolis defeated a disappointing Olympiakos 3-1 at home on Friday evening in a game reminiscent of the past glory days of the Thrace club. Ethnikos won 25-19, 26-24, 21-25, 31-29 for its first win since returning to the A1 this summer. There already are concerns about the future of Olympiakos coach Flavio Gulinelli. Playing at home, Iraklis was the favorite against Kifissia, but the absence of captain Andrej Kravarik and the combative character of the visiting side saw Kifissia win 3-1 on Saturday and force Iraklis coach Alekos Leonis to tender his resignation. However, the Iraklis board refused to accept it. Panathinaikos thrashed title rival EA Patras 3-0 in Athens on Friday after an emphatic performance (25-16, 25-19, 25-22). On Saturday Aris won 3-1 at Panellinios, PAOK beat Apollon Kalamarias 3-0 and last night Lamia downed Epikouros Polichnis 3-1.