RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Aug. 16, 2007) - Continuing the pace from its match against Canada, the U.S. Men's Sitting Volleyball team swept Costa Rica, 26-6, 25-10, 25-2.
Rica never held a lead and only tied the game on one occasion.
"Those kind of match-ups can go either way," said Head Coach Bill Hamiter (Bethany, Okla.). "It really depends on how focused we are. We did a really good job and made them (Costa Rica) play."
"The match today ended up mostly being a tune-up for Brazil," said Eric Duda (Edmond, Okla. /Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.). "Most of us are over our nerves at this point and just want to go out relaxed and ready to play."
Edgar LaForest (San Juan, Puerto Rico) led the team with 13 points, followed by Chris Seilkop (Deland, Fla.) and Bradley Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.) who each posted seven.
The U.S. coaching staff tried different lineups in each game to allow all team members to get playing time and experience.
The opening set started with Team Captain Brent Rasmussen (Omaha, Neb.), Brad Johnson, James Stuck (Edmond, Okla./New Kensington, Pa.), Roderick Green (Edmond, Okla.), LaForest, and Seilkop. Matt Johnson (Lincoln, Neb.) was the libero.
The second set was started by Curtis Lease (Naperville, Ill.), Rasmussen, Jose Zabala (Carolina, Puerto Rico), Josh Franklin (Tomball, Texas), Duda, and Hugo Storer (Houston, Texas). Duda, Zabala, LaForest, Green, Stuck, and Seilkop started in the final set.
Although the first two sets were won easily, the U.S. exploded offensively in the third and final set. Costa Rica managed, for the first time, to tie the game at 2-2 when Stuck made his third kill of the match, which gave the U.S. a 3-2 lead. Stuck was then set to serve and the U.S. went on an amazing 22-0 run finishing that set 25-2.
"We basically just wanted to win today," Stuck said. "When the run began, I just wanted to serve and hit my spots. The team then backed me up. I can't take credit for it. It was just great teamwork."
The U.S. (2-0) will play its final pool match tomorrow against host country Brazil (2-0).
"We have to be ready to play Brazil tomorrow," Hamiter said. "The guys just have to be in that mind set and totally prepared to play."
The U.S. and Brazil will play at 11 a.m. (local time) on Friday, August 17 at Riocentro Convention Center Pavilion 3B.
2007 U.S. Men's Sitting Volleyball Parapan Am Games Roster
No. Name Position Current Residence
1 Matt Johnson L Lincoln, Neb.
3 Curtis Lease MH Naperville, Ill.
4 Hugo Storer OH Houston, Texas
5 Eric Duda OH/MH Edmond, Okla.
7 Bradley Johnson MH Pompano Beach, Fla.
8 James Stuck O/MH Edmond, Okla.
9 Roderick Green OH/MH Edmond, Okla.
10 Edgar LaForest OH San Juan, Puerto Rico
12 Brent Rasmussen OH Omaha, Neb.
13 Josh Franklin OH Tomball, Texas
14 Jose Zabala S/H Carolina, Puerto Rico
15 Chris Seilkop S/H Deland, Fla.
Head Coach: Bill Hamiter (Bethany, Okla.)
Assistant Coach/Team Leader: Dixie Collins (Marshall, Virg.)
Assistant Coach: Edgar Miraku (Edmond, Okla.)
U.S. Men's Sitting Volleyball Parapan Am Games REsults and Schedule (all times local)
Aug. 15: USA def Canada, 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-12)
Aug. 16: USA def Costa Rico, 3-0 (25-6, 25-10, 25-2)
Aug. 17, 11 a.m.:USA vs. Brazil
Aug. 18, 9 a.m.: Semifinal: First vs. Fourth
Aug. 18, 11 a.m.: Semifinal: Second vs. Third
Aug. 19, 9 a.m.: Bronze Medal Match
Aug. 19, 11 a.m.: Gold Medal Match