U.S. women win sitting volleyball Parapan American Championships

March 09, 2010, 6:42 p.m. (ET)

DENVER, Colo. (March 8, 2010) - The second verse was the same as the first for the U.S. Men's and Women's Sitting Volleyball Teams on Monday at the Parapan American Championships at the Colorado Convention Center.

The U.S. Sitting Women's Team won its part of the tournament with its second straight victory over Brazil, 25-15, 25-14, 25-18. The U.S. Men lost their second match of the competition to Brazil, 16-25, 16-25, 21-25 and finished second to the South Americans. Canada placed third in both the men's and women's brackets.

Brazil qualified both its teams for the 2010 Sitting Volleyball World Championships on July 11-18 in Edmond, Okla. The U.S. teams have already qualified for Worlds by virtue of hosting.

The women's match opened the final day of the tournament, which was held in conjunction with the Colorado Crossroads tournament and drew 100-150 spectators at a time.

Although the U.S. Women had already beaten Brazil pretty handily on Saturday, 25-18, 25-11, 25-15, U.S. Team Captain Brenda Maymon (Sellersburg, Ind.) said they didn't have any trouble getting motivated for Monday's match.

"I think we always come in with the mindset of winning," she said. "We do a good job motivating each other."

U.S. Women's Sitting Team Head Coach Bill Hamiter (Bethany, Okla.) started Maymon, Lora Webster (Cave Creek, Ariz.), Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Wash.), Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, N.C.), Allison Aldrich (Schuyler, Neb.) and Nicole Millage (Champaign, Ill.). Kari Miller (Washington, D.C.) started at libero. Kendra Lancaster (Westfield, Ind.) played as a substitute.

The United States got a quick start in the first set as a Brazilian serving error tied the score at 2-2 and gave Maymon the serve. She served Team USA to a 6-2 lead, including an ace and kills by Holloway and Millage, and Brazil was never able to close the gap to more than a two-point difference. When Brazil did pull to within two points at 12-10, Erickson got the serve and scored the next four straight points to give the United States a 16-10 lead at the second technical timeout (TTO).

In the second set, Brazil had a 7-6 lead when the United States used a kill to tie the score and take back the serve. Holloway served for the next nine points, including three aces, to give Team USA the 15-7 lead and the U.S. Women cruised to the set victory.

But Brazil was not ready to go down quietly. The South Americans led 8-7 at the first TTO and later led 11-9. The United States tied the score at 11s on a kill and Brazil error. After Brazil went ahead 12-11, Holloway got the serve and used two straight aces to put the United States ahead. She served for two more points to give the U.S. Women as 15-12 lead. Brazil cut the lead to one at 18-17, but Erickson served for six points, including an ace, to give the United States match point at 24-17. Brazil held the U.S. Women off for one more point before Erickson ended the match with a kill.

"Brazil was a much improved team. They served and passed much better than Saturday," Hamiter said. "They put pressure on us. I don't know that we always executed our plays exactly the way we wanted to. But all of our players did a great job. When you win, you've got to be pleased."

Unfortunately, the U.S. Men continued to struggle with Brazil.

"I don't know that they did anything special to keep us off balance," U.S. player Dan Regan (St. Louis, Mo.) said. "I think we kept ourselves off balance. I know we can beat them."

U.S. Men's Sitting Team Head Coach Edgar Miraku (Elbasan, Albania) started Regan, Eric Duda (Gainesville, Fla.), James Stuck (New Kensington, Pa.), Hugo Storer (Houston, Texas), Roderick Green (West Monroe, La.) and Brent Rasmussen (Omaha, Neb.).  Brad Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.) played as a substitute.

Brazil took an 8-6 lead at the first TTO of the first set but the U.S. Men came back to tied the score on a kill and a Regan block. Team USA took advantage of a block by Rasmussen and Regan along with a Brazil error to hold an 11-9 lead.  But Brazil tied the score at 11-11 and at 12-12, went on a run of four straight points behind the serving of Gilberto Lourenço da Silva to lead 16-12 at the second TTO.  Another Brazil scoring run behind the serving of Wellington Platini Silva da Anunciação took Brazil's lead from 16-14 to 21-14 and the United States could not come back.

In the second set, Brazil took an 8-5 lead at the first TTO and quickly increased that to 10-5. Again, the U.S. Men struggled to put together any sort of scoring run and trailed 10-16 at the second TTO before losing the set.

The third set got off to a better start. With Brazil leading 4-3, Stuck used a kill to tie the score and get the serve. He served for three points and eventually the United States led 8-5 at the first TTO. They extended their lead to 16-11 at the second TTO. However Brazilian Head Coach Celio Cesar Mediato must have had some inspiring words during the break because Brazil came out from the break and scored the next five points behind the serving of Wellington, who had an ace, and tied the score at 16s. Later, with the scored tied 18-18, Diogo Rebouças took the serve on a kill and served for the next five points, including an ace, to put the set and match out of reach for the United States.

Both U.S. teams will now look forward to traveling to Egypt at the end of March for the World Organization for Volleyball Disabled (WOVD) World Cup.

2010 Parapan American Championships
March 6-8 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver

March 6
Brazil def. Canada (women): 25-13, 25-4, 25-6
Brazil def. Canada (men): 25-13, 25-17, 25-14
USA def. Brazil (women): 25-18, 25-11, 25-15
USA def. Canada (men): 25-21, 25-16, 25-18
March 7
USA def. Canada (women): 25-13, 25-9, 25-14
Brazil def. USA (men): 25-18, 25-21, 25-18
Semifinal: Brazil def. Canada (women): 25-12, 25-14, 25-15
Semifinal: USA def. Canada (men): 25-23, 25-23, 30-28
March 8
Final: USA def. Brazil (women): 25-15, 25-14, 25-18
Final: Brazil def. USA (men): 25-16, 25-16, 25-21

U.S. Women's Sitting Volleyball Team
1 Lora Webster (Cave Creek, Ariz.)
3 Brenda Maymon (Sellersburg, Ind.)
4 Michelle Gerlosky (Griffin, Ga.)
5 Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Wash.)
6 Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, N.C.)
9 Gina McWilliams (The Colony, Texas)
10 Kari Miller (Washington, D.C.)
11 Allison Aldrich (Schuyler, Neb.)
13 Nichole Millage (Champaign, Ill.)
14 Kaleo Kanahele (Edmond, Okla.)
15 Kendra Lancaster (Westfield, Ind.)
18Alex Gouldie (St. Paul, Neb.)

Head Coach: Bill Hamiter (Bethany, Okla.)
Assistant Coach: Edgar Miraku (Elbasan, Albania)
Team Leader: Dixie Collins (Marshall, Va.)

U.S. Men's Sitting Volleyball Team
2 Dan Regan (St. Louis, Mo.)
3 Charles Swearingon (Gulfport, Miss.)
4 Edward O'Neil (Amherst, Mass.)
5 Eric Duda (Gainesville, Fla.)
7 Brad Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.)
8 James Stuck (New Kensington, Pa.)
9 Hugo Storer (Houston, Texas)
11 Roderick Green (West Monroe, La.)
12 Brent Rasmussen (Omaha, Neb.)
13 Josh Franklin (Houston, Texas)

Head Coach: Edgar Miraku (Elbasan, Albania)
Assistant Coach: Bill Hamiter (Bethany, Okla.)
Team Leader: Dixie Collins (Marshall, Va.)