Twenty days after their last match and the crucial win over Aias, the girls of Elpis return for the 12th round away match against AEK in Athens. A win over the last placed team of the league is almost compulsory, as the team battles to stay in the top flight of Greek volleyball and American setter Sierra Wilson is ready for her first match in 2017.

“I believe the team will approach the game against AEK with fresh minds and fresh bodies. After going so long without playing competitively, it is exciting to have the opportunity to get back out there and play a full match”, she told the club’s official website.

Sierra also spoke about the Greek League, as she spent her first Christmas abroad: “I enjoy the competitive spirit of the league. Each team has tested us in different ways. As for my first Christmas in Greece, it was beautiful. I certainly wouldn't mind spending another one here”!

National pride for Elpis On a special evening for Elpis Volleyball club, three “greens” played for the Greek National Women’s team on Sunday against Montenegro. Middle blocker Anna Kalandadze, outside hitter Alexia Kalantaridou and libero Iliana Iakovidou (who plays for Markopoulo Athens on loan from Elpis) all featured in this friendly game in Thessaloniki and Kalandadze made her first appearance for the Senior National team.

Among the 400 fans were teammates Sierra Wilson, Katerina Boletou, Maria Boletou, Athena Karamutsa and Anna Milona together with board members and fans of the club. Greece, preparing for the European Championships Qualifiers later this month, came from behind to secure a 2-2 “tie” in a four sets match.

Sierra Wilson, the new setter of Elpis Volleyball Club, arrived in Thessaloniki on Saturday evening to start a new chapter in her volleyball career. The 22-years-old landed at “Macedonia” International Airport of Thessaloniki after a long trip from Los Angeles and was greeted by club officials Akis Iakovidis and Angelo Talabiris and new teammates Kathrin Boletou and Helen Govedarou.

Wilson will meet coach George Chrisomallidis and her new teammates on Monday afternoon at the club’s “Lemonidis” Sports Hall. On Tuesday they will start their preparation for the new season, which starts on October 22 with an away match against local rivals Ajax Evosmos.

The pre-season started on Monday Aug 29 for Elpis, who is waiting for its ever participation in the A1 Women's League. Head coach George Chrisomalidis and his staff (assistant Theo Colesiotis and statistician Chryssa Papazoglou) welcomed the team at the Lemonidis Sports Hall and urged them to "...enjoy this unique trip". All 15 players of this season's roster were present, among them new recruits Sierra Wilson, Greek international Alexia Kalantaridou, Evi Gerovasiliou, Vicky Kalaitzaki and Anne Milona. The team meeting continued in a nearby taverna, owned by one of the club sponsors, for the first dinner of the new season. Pre-season training startet on Tuesday Aug 30.

New "Greens" Kalantaridou, Gerovasiliou, Kalaitzaki, Milona and Wilson

Technical staff Chrisomalidis (head coach), Papazoglou (statistics) and Colesiotis (assistant)

The youth team also welcomed Sierra Wilson

Volleyball Club Elpis Ambelokipi announces the transfer of US volleyball player Sierra Wilson who will be the new setter of our senior team for its first ever season at the Greek A1 Women’s League. Sierra, the first foreign player in the club's history, agreed with Elpis over the weekend and announced the transfer via Facebook!

“Excited to share that I recently signed with Elpis Ampelokipon and will be heading to Thessaloniki, Greece at the end of the summer to begin my first season as a professional volleyball player. I am so thankful for the opportunity to continue playing a sport that I love and I am truly blessed to have the support of my family and friends as I embark on this journey”, the 22-years-old setter wrote.

Sierra was born on August 10, 1994 in Fountain Valley, California and showed her talent from an early age. She attended Troy High School in Fullerton, Ca. and captained the girls volleyball team to four consecutive league titles. In 2011 she was named to the 2011 American Volleyball Coaches Association Under Armour Girls' HS All-America Watch List.

In 2012 she went to the University of Alabama and became widely known for its sporting performances. In 2012 she became the first true freshman to start at setter for Alabama since 2004. In the following years she continued to collect individual awards and in 2015 she started all 32 matches as the team's primary setter and set the Alabama career assists record finishing with 5,771! Her personal bests in a single match include 73 assists (2013) and 15 digs (2012).

Her academic performances are also impressive. Sierra earned First Team Academic All-America distinction from the College Sports Information Directors of American (CoSIDA) for two consecutive seasons as she owns a 4.0 cumulative GPA as an English and Political Science major.

Elpis welcomes her new player Sierra Wilson and wishes her a successful volleyball season in the Greek League.