SAN JUAN, Costa Rica (April 16, 2013) – After an exciting bus ride to the stadium dodging in and out of aggressive Costa Rican traffic, we arrived at our competition site. We were excited to be there and to compete in our first international competition in over a year. It's been 13 months since we were defeated in our last opportunity to qualify for the 2012 Paralympic Games. With London and the last quad behind us, we were eager to play.
Eric Duda, our team captain, mentioned one of our goals here was to get some experience for some younger players. Coach Hamiter added on the first night that we are also here to help strengthen and grow the game. Everybody has to start somewhere, and it feels good to not only compete but also to usher in some appreciated experience to some great sportsmen.
Tonight we played and defeated Colombia. They played well, attempting to exploit our rookie players by serving them repeatedly; but Rejy and Thomas did a great job overall in their first international competition. J Dee had several swings that seemed to punch the ball through the floor. Dan played a strong role at the net, as always. Duda led us well and set a good example of excitement and execution. He was also able to exploit Costa Rica’s “uncrisp” play.
As for me, I always enjoy playing this game under the banner of the United States.
Today was exceptional. Today we played for the city of Boston, its victims, first responders, medical staff, investigational team, and citizens. We wore black bands on jerseys as tribute. Stay strong, Boston. Our thoughts and efforts are with you.
Charles F. Swearingen, BS, NREMTP, FPC
Flight Paramedic; OU MediFlight
#13 United States National Volleyball Team