US Women Look for Cycle at Paralympic Games
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 15, 2012)- The 2012 U.S. Paralympic Women’s Volleyball Team will attempt to make history in London, Aug. 29-Sept. 9 at the ExCel venue, vying to capture the program’s first-ever gold medal at a Paralympic Games.
Team USA, ranked second in the world according to the World Organization for Disabled Volleyball (WOVD) under head coach Bill Hamiter (Bethany, Okla.), will kick-start its Paralympic competition on Friday, Aug. 31, in Pool B at 4 p.m. local time (8 a.m. PT) against the No. 2 seed and top-ranked team in the world, China.
The U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team has claimed hardware from the 2004 and 2008 Paralympic Games, winning bronze in Athens and silver in Beijing under then-head coach Mike Hulett, who was awarded USA Volleyball’s highest honor as the Harold T. Friermood ‘Frier’ award recipient at the 2012 Boyce Awards Banquet on May 24 in Dallas. The team now looks to bat a full-cycle with gold in London.
Team USA, consists of eight returning athletes from the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team: Allison Aldrich (Schuyloer, Neb.), Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, N.C.), Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Wash.), Brenda Maymon-Jensen (Charlestown, Ind.), Lora Webster (Phoenix, Ariz.), Nichole Millage (Champaign, Ill.), Kari Miller (Washington, D.C.) and team captain Kendra Lancaster (Westfield, Ind.).
Aldrich, Maymon-Jenson, Webster and Lancaster are making their third Paralympic appearances as they also competed at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. The four athletes are trying to win their third Paralympic Games medal.
Monique Burkland (Ardmore, Okla.), Michelle Gerlosky-Schiffler (Lake Wales, Fla.) and Kaleo Kanahele (Oklahoma City, Okla.) will make their Paralympic debuts in London.
Hamiter is making his first Paralympic trip as the U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team head coach. He joined the program as head coach and high performance director in June of 2009.
Joining Hamiter on the staff for London will be assistant coach Cara Lang, team leader Cecile Reynaud, athletic trainer Brian Choate and statistician Elliot Blake.
With the host seeding, Great Britain will take the first seed and enter the competition for the first time in its program history. China, ranked No. 1 in the world, will take the second seed followed by Team USA with the third seed. Ukraine, ranked No. 3 in the world, takes the fourth seed.
The U.S. Women will start competition in Pool B with Brazil, China and Slovenia. Pool A is occupied by Great Britain, Japan, The Netherlands and Ukraine.
The team earned its Paralympic qualification in July of 2010 after capturing the silver medal at the 2010 WOVD Sitting Volleyball World Championships. Since then the team has captured two gold medals and competed in a hand full of international exhibition matches.
In September of 2011 the team took the gold medal at the ECVD Continental Cup in Yevatoriya, Ukraine. Holloway was named tournament most valuable player, Miller was named best libero and Gerlosky was named best server.
In late September the team posted another gold-medal performance, this time at the Parapan Am Zonal Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Holloway was again named tournament most valuable player and added best spiker to her awards, Erickson earned best server and Kanahele best setter.
With its dominance in the 2010-11 season the team was named the 2011 Sitting Volleyball Team of the Year. Holloway was named the 2011 Sitting Athlete of the Year.
The team suffered a devastating blow in May 2011 when Lancaster, who had just been named team captain, suffered injuries in a head-on car accident in Morgan Country, Ind. Lancaster, 24, was taken to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis in critical condition. But after a year of recovery, she returned to the team for its recent trip to Netherlands where it won the DELA Trophy 2012.
As a last stitch effort to prepare for the Paralympics the team traveled to Shanghai for exhibition play with Ukraine and China. The matches brought the top three ranked teams in the world under one roof. Team USA went 1-5 on the tournament and came home for its last team camp to iron out kinks and get ready to jump the pond.
The team will be tweeting from the games so be sure to follow @USA_Volleyball (USA Volleyball), @KennyLynn15 (Kendra Lancaster), @KSHolloway (Katie Holloway), @Kaleo_vb10 (Kaleo Kanahele), @HeatherSitVB6 (Heather Erickson), @MoniqueBurkland (Monique Burkland), @allieusa11 (Allison Aldrich), @bmrocket3 (Brenda Maymon-Jenson), @KarisittingV (Kari Miller), and @NicholeMillage (Nichole Millage).
About Sitting Volleyball: Sitting Volleyball emerged in the Netherlands in the 1950s, a combination of volleyball and a German game called Sitzbal. It really began to increase in popularity during the 1960s, and has since grown into one of the most fast-paced and exciting Paralympic sports. It is now played by athletes in more than 50 countries around the world.
About the ExCel Venue: ExCeL is the largest competition venue at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. It is made up of five different arenas, each of which will host a different sport at London 2012.
ExCeL opened in 2001 as an international conference and exhibition centre in London’s Docklands, and was expanded in 2010. Experienced at staging major events, it is ideally placed to host the biggest cluster of Olympic and Paralympic sports outside the Olympic Park during the Games.
U.S. Women’s Sitting Team
# - Name (Hometown)
1 - Lora Webster (Phoenix, Ariz.)
3 - Brenda Maymon-Jenson (Charlestown, Ind.)
4 - Michelle Gerlosky (Lake Wales, Fla./UCO Resident Athlete)
5 - Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Wash./UCO Resident Athlete)
6 - Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, N.C./UCO Resident Athlete)
7 - Monique Burkland (Ardmore, Okla./UCO Resident Athlete)
10 - Kari Miller (Washington, D.C.)
11 - Allison Aldrich (Schuyler, Neb.)
13 - Nichole Millage (Champaign, Ill./UCO Resident Athlete)
14 - Kaleo Kanahele (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
15 - Kendra Lancaster (Westfield, Ind.)
Bethany Zummo (Dublin, Calif./UCO Resident Athlete)
Angela DeHaan (Yuba City, Calif.)
Head Coach: Bill Hamiter (Bethany, Okla.)
Assistant Coach: Cara Lang
Statistician: Elliot Blake
Athletic Trainer: Brian Choate
Team Leader: Cecile Reynaud
2012 London Paralympic Sitting Volleyball Schedule
Times are in local time in London and in (Pacific Standard Time).
Friday, Aug. 31
9:00 a.m. (1 a.m. PST) Women's Preliminaries Pool A GBR vs UKR
4:00 p.m. (8 a.m. PST) Women’s Preliminaries Pool B CHN vs USA
7:00 p.m. (11 a.m. PST) Women's Preliminaries Pool A NLD vs JPN
Saturday, Sept. 1
9:00 a.m. (1 a.m. PST) Women's Preliminaries Pool B CHN vs BRA
4:00 p.m. (8 a.m. PST) Women's Preliminaries Pool A GBR vs NLD
7:00p.m. (11 a.m. PST) Women's Preliminaries Pool B USA vs SVN
Sunday, Sept. 2
11:00 a.m. (3 a.m. PST) Women's Preliminaries Pool A NLD vs UKR
4:00p.m. (8 a.m. PST) Women's Preliminaries Pool B SVN vs BRA
7:00 p.m. (11 a.m. PST) Women's Preliminaries Pool A GBR vs JPN
Monday, Sept. 3
9:00 a.m. (1 a.m. PST) Women's Preliminaries Pool B CHN vs SVN
4:00 p.m. (8 a.m. PST) Women's Preliminaries Pool A UKR vs JPN
7:00 p.m. (11 a.m. PST) Women's Preliminaries Pool B USA vs BRA
Tuesday, Sept. 4
7:00 a.m. (11 p.m. PST, Sept. 3) Women's Semifinals 5-8 Classification 3B vs 4A
9:00 a.m. (1 a.m. PST) Women’s Semifinals 5-8 Classification 3A vs 4B
Wednesday, Sept. 5
4:00 p.m. (8 a.m. PST) Women's Semifinal 1A vs 2B
7:00 p.m. (11 a.m. PST) Women's Semifinals 2A vs 1B
Thursday, Sept. 6
9:00 a.m. (1 a.m. PST) Women's Final 7-8 Classification
11:00 a.m. (3 a.m. PST) Women's Final 5-6 Classification
Friday, Sept. 7
7:00 a.m. (11 p.m. PST, Sept 6)) Women's Final Bronze Medal Match
9:00 a.m. (1 a.m. PST) Women's Final Gold Medal Match
10:45 a.m. (2:45 a.m. PST) Women's Medal Ceremony