Men's Sitting Team Rebounds for Win over China

July 11, 2011, 4:54 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 11, 2011) – The U.S. Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team rebounded from a first-set loss to take down China, 15-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-20 on Monday in its opening match of the 2011 Continental Cup in Kettering, England.

The men struggled initially with the quickness of China’s offense, but made some adjustments that led the team to victory.

Eric Duda (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and James Stuck (New Kensington, Pa.) each scored 12 points for the United States while J. Dee Marinko (Newcastle, Okla.) and Roderick Green (West Monroe, La.) also contributed with another 11 points each. 

Duda recorded six kills and six blocks while Stuck added eight kills and four blocks. Marinko added 10 kills on a .530 hitting efficiency, as Green added six kills and five blocks.

The U.S. Men won the blocking battle overwhelmingly, 20-3.

It was an important victory for the U.S. Men’s Sitting Team, which lost to China at the 2010 Sitting World Championships.

“In the first set, we couldn’t find our rhythm to get started,” U.S. Men’s Sitting Team Head Coach Edgar Miraku (Elbasan, Albania) said. “As the match progressed, we were able to make some small changes that gave us the edge we needed to be the stronger team today.”

Miraku also noted the team’s blocking effort in the win.

“The guys started reading China’s offense better as the game carried on, and they were able to do a phenomenal job in closing up the block.”

On Sunday, the U.S. Men’s Sitting Team defeated Great Britain in an official scrimmage, 25-16, 26-24, 25-20. The scrimmage was used as a warm-up for both teams, but also provided Team USA with an opportunity to experiment with its lineup in preparation for the tournament.

USA will play Azerbaijan in pool play at 4:30 p.m. (local time) on Tuesday.

2011 Men’s Sitting Volleyball Continental Cup
Kettering, England

U.S. Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team
Number Name (Hometown/Resident athletes at the University of Central Oklahoma are noted)

2 Dan Regan (St. Louis, Mo./Edmond, Okla.)
3 Charlie Swearingen (Gulfport, Miss./Edmond, Okla.)
4 Ed O'Neil (Amherst, Mass./Edmond, Okla.)
5 Eric Duda (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Edmond, Okla.)
8 James Stuck (New Kensington, Pa./Edmond, Okla.)
9 Hugo Storer (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
11 Roderick Green (West Monroe, La./Edmond, Okla.)
12 Brent Rasmussen (Omaha, Neb.)
18 J. Dee Marinko (Newcastle, Okla.)

Head Coach: Edgar Miraku (Elbasan, Albania)
Assistant Coach/Team Leader: Dixie Collins (Marshall, Va.)
Statistician: Elliott Blake
Athletic Trainer: Brian Choate

Pool B

Pool A
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Great Britain

Competition Results and Schedule (All times local)

Pool B

July 11
USA def. China , 15-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-20
Azerbaijan def. Russia, 25-10, 25-5, 25-7

July 12
9:30 a.m.: Egypt vs. Azerbaijan
11:30 a.m.: China vs. Russia
4:30 p.m.: Azerbaijan vs. USA
6:30 p.m.: Russia vs. Egypt

July 13
9:30 a.m.: USA vs. Russia
11:30 a.m. China vs. Egypt
4:30 p.m.: Azerbaijan vs. China
6:30 p.m.: Egypt vs. USA

Pool A

July 11
Brazil def. Great Britain, 25-15, 27-25, 25-17
Ukraine def. Canada, 25-9, 25-7, 25-16
Bosnia & Herzegovina def. Kazakhstan, 25-11, 25-8, 25-11

July 12
9 a.m.: Great Britain vs. Ukraine
11 a.m.: Canada vs. Kazakhstan
1 p.m.: Brazil vs. Bosnia & Herzegovina
4 p.m.: Kazakhstan vs. Great Britain
6 p.m.: Bosnia & Herzegovina vs. Canada
8 p.m.: Ukraine vs. Brazil

July 13
9 a.m.: Great Britain vs. Bosnia & Herzegovina
11 a.m.: Ukraine vs. Kazakhstan
1 p.m.: Brazil vs. Canada
4 p.m.: Bosnia & Herzegovina vs. Ukraine
6 p.m.: Kazakhstan vs. Brazil
8 p.m.: Canada vs. Great Britain

Final Rounds

July 14
10 a.m. Classification 9-11: 5B vs. 6A
Noon Quarterfinal: 2A vs. 3B
2 p.m. Quarterfinal: 2B vs. 3A
3 p.m. Quarterfinal: 1A vs. 4B
4 p.m. Quarterfinal: 1B vs. 4A

July 15
10 a.m. Classification 9-11: 6A vs. 5A
Noon: Semifinal 5-8
2 p.m.: Semifinal 5-8
4 p.m.: Semifinal 1-4
6 p.m.: Semifinal 1-4

July 16
9 a.m.: 7th Place
9:30 a.m.: Classification 9-11
11 a.m.: 5th Place
1 p.m.: 3rd Place
3 p.m.: Championship