U.S. Sitting Women's Team Prepared for Paralympics

Sept. 04, 2008, 6:57 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 4, 2008) – The U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team will be looking to improve on its 2004 bronze medal finish when it begins play at the 2008 Paralympic Games, starting Saturday, Sept. 6 in Beijing.

The team will consist of Allison Aldrich (Schuyler, Neb.), Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, N.C.), Alex Gouldie (St. Paul, Neb.), Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Wash.), SuGui Kriss (Ravena, N.Y.), Kendra Lancaster (Sheridan, Ind.), Hope Lewellen (Palos Park, Ill.), Brenda Maymon (Sellersberg, Ind.), Gina McWilliams (The Colony, Texas), Nichole Millage (Champaign, Ill.), Kari Miller (Washington D.C.) and Lora Webster (Cave Creek, Ariz.).

Mike Hulett (Des Plaines, Ill.) will be the team’s head coach. He will be assisted by Denise Van De Walle (Bowling Green, Ohio) and Cara Bartolic (Sartell, Minn.). Roger Neppl (Colorado Springs, Colo.) will serve as the team leader.

Beijing will mark the U.S. Sitting Women’s Team’s second appearance in the Paralympics. At the 2004 Games in Athens, the team won the bronze medal in its Paralympic debut.

“We certainly have a lot more experience than we had in 2004,” Hulett said. “We have had a great season in 2008 and it would be a disappointment if we did not medal in Beijing.”

Six players from the 2004 team will be returning to the Paralympics: Aldrich, Lancaster, Lewellen, Maymon, McWilliams and Webster. Hulett and Van De Walle also coached the team in 2004.

The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team qualified by virtue of its fifth-place finish at the 2006 Sitting Volleyball World Championship and because the Afro Arab zone did not have a champion to send.

The team is ranked third in the world and, in April, it finished third at the World Organization Volleyball for Disabled (WOVD) Intercontinental Cup in Ismailia, Egypt. It also played a series of friendly matches against Netherlands in Chicago in March and finished 3-1. In December of 2007, the team held its own in several exhibition matches against China played at the team’s headquarters at the University of Central Oklahoma.

The U.S. Sitting Women will play their first pool play match on Sept. 7 against Lithuania. On Sept. 9 it will face China and Latvia on Sept. 10. The classification round begins on Sept. 11, with the women’s medal matches being played on Sept. 14 and the men’s on Sept. 15. All matches will be played at the China Agricultural University Gymnasium.

There will be daily live and delayed highlight shows of the Paralympic Games on Sept. 6-17, on www.UniversalSports.com and www.usparalympics.org, and there will be a special NBC broadcast on Oct. 18.

U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team
Allison Aldrich (Schuyler, Neb.)
Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, N.C.)
Alex Gouldie (St. Paul, Neb.)
Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Wash.)
SuGui Kriss (Ravena, N.Y.)
Kendra Lancaster (Westfield, Ind.)
Hope Lewellen (Palos Park, Ill.)
Brenda Maymon (Sellersberg, Ind.)
Gina McWilliams (The Colony, Texas)
Nichole Millage (Champaign, Ill.)
Kari Miller (Washington D.C.)
Lora Webster (Cave Creek, Ariz.)

Head Coach: Mike Hulett (Des Plaines, Ill.)
Assistant Coach: Denise Van De Walle (Bowling Green, Ohio)
Assistant Coach: Cara Bartolic (Sartell, Minn.)
Team Leader: Roger Neppl (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Women’s Sitting Volleyball Paralympic Teams:

1. China as host nation (No. 2 at 2006 World Championship)
2. Netherlands as No. 1 of 2006 World Championship
3. Slovenia as No. 3 of 2006 World Championship
4. Lithuania as No. 4 of 2006 World Championships
5. USA, replacing Afro Arab CVD Champion as No. 5 of 2006 World Championships
5. Ukraine, replacing Pan American CVD Champion as No. 6 of 2006 World Championship
6. Japan as No. 2 of Asia Oceania CVD Championship
7. Latvia as No. 5 of European CVD Championship

Competition Schedule:

Day 1 Sunday: (9/7)
09:30-11:00 Women's Team Preliminaries - Match1 - USA-LTU
13:30-15:00 Women's Team Preliminaries - Match2 - NED-JPN

Day 2 Monday: (9/8)
09:30-11:00 Women's Team Preliminaries - Match4 - SLO-JPN
13:30-15:00 Women's Team Preliminaries - Match5 - NED-UKR
17:30-19:00 Women's Team Preliminaries - Match6 - CHN-LTU

Day 3 Tuesday: (9/9)
09:30-11:00 Women's Team Preliminaries - Match7 - UKR-SLO
13:30-15:00 Women's Team Preliminaries - Match8 - LTU-LAT
17:30-19:00 Women's Team Preliminaries - Match9 - CHN-USA

Day 4 Wednesday: (9/10)
09:30-11:00 Women's Team Preliminaries - Match10 - UKR-JPN
13:30-15:00 Women's Team Preliminaries - Match11 - USA-LAT
17:30-19:00 Women's Team Preliminaries - Match12 - SLO-NED

Day 5 Thursday: (9/11)
10:00-11:30 Women's Team 5-8
16:00-17:30 Women's Team 5-8

Day 6 Friday: (9/12)
10:00-11:30 Women's Team Semifinal 1
16:00-17:30 Women's Team Semifinal 2

Day 7 Saturday: (9/13)
10:00-11:30 Women's Team 7-8
16:00-17:30 Women's Team 5-6

Day 8 Sunday: (9/14)
16:00-17:30 Women's Team Bronze Medal
18:00-19:30 Women's Team Gold Medal Match
19:45-20:05 Women's Gold Medal Ceremony