COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 17, 2013) – The U.S. Women's Sitting Volleyball Team bounced back from losing two matches on Friday to qualify for the finals of the Moscow Open Cup in Russia.
The U.S. (3-2), ranked No. 2 in the world, will play world No. 1 China at 4 a.m. CT on Sunday for the gold medal.
"I was glad that we found a good rhythm today, U.S. player Kaleo Kanahele (Oklahoma City, Okla.) said. “It was great to see us rise to the occasion when we were under pressure. I'm excited for the finals tomorrow!"
The U.S. players said they have also enjoyed the trip to Moscow.
"It was great to experience such highly intense matches,” U.S. player Lexi Shifflett (Waseca, Minn.) said. “I've also enjoyed the Russian culture and the friendly people here. Moscow is amazing."
The U.S. opened the day on Saturday by defeating Finland, 25-12, 18-25, 25-10, 25-14. The U.S. out-attacked Finland (17-13), out-blocked it (17-13) and led in aces (14-6).
Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, N.C.) led all scorers with 15 points on 12 attacks, one block and two aces. Monique Burkland (Ardmore, Okla.) added 12 points on seven kills and a match-high five blocks. Nicky Nieves (Kissimmee, Fla.) scored 10 points on two kills, three blocks and a match-high five aces.
Libero Kari Miller (Washington, D.C.) was credited with nine receptions, 56 percent positive. Nichole Millage (Champaign, Ill.) led in receptions with 13, 54 percent positive.
Other scorers for the U.S. were Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Wash.) with 11 points, Millage and Kanahele, each with seven, Kendra Lancaster (Westfield, Ind.) with three points and Michelle Schiffler (Lake Wales, Fla.) and Abby Mueller (Houston, Texas) who each scored one.
With the victory over Finland, the U.S. finished third in Pool A and defeated Netherlands, the second place team from Pool B, in the quarterfinals, 25-18, 25-6, 25-20. The U.S. led in attacks (33-16) and aces (11-3) while Netherlands led in blocks (9-8).
Erickson and Holloway each scored 13 points for the United States. Holloway scored on a match-high 10 kills and three blocks. Erickson added eight kills, three blocks and two aces. Kanahele scored seven points on one kill and a match-high six aces.
Other U.S. scorers were Millage (nine points), Nieves (six points) and Burkland (four points). Miller led the team with 15 receptions, 60 percent positive.
The semifinals were a rematch with Russia, who had beaten the Americans on Friday. This time, the U.S. prevailed, 25-11, 26-24, 25-22. The U.S. led in kills (36-19) and aces (9-4) while Russia led in blocks (19-12).
Erickson led the effort with 18 points on a match-high 13 kills, two blocks and three aces. Holloway added 15 points on 12 attacks and three blocks. Millage scored eight points on two kills, one block and a match-high five aces. She also led in receptions with 25, 56 percent positive. Miller was credited with nine receptions, 33 percent positive.
Other U.S. scorers were Nieves (seven points), Burkland (five points) and Kanahele (four points).
U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team
Monique Burkland (Ardmore, Okla.)
Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, N.C.)
Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Wash.)
Kaleo Kanahele (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
Kendra Lancaster (Westfield, Ind.)
Nichole Millage (Champaign, Ill.)
Kari Miller (Washington, D.C.)
Abby Mueller (Houston, Texas)
Nicky Nieves (Kissimmee, Fla.)
Michelle Schiffler (Lake Wales, Fla.)
Lexi Shifflett (Waseca, Minn.)
Bethany Zummo (Dublin, Calif.)
Head Coach: Bill Hamiter (Bethany, Okla.)
Assistant Coach: Cara Lang (Sartell, Minn.)
Assistant Coach: Jeffery Hicks (Charlotte, N.C.)
Physiotherapist: Kazuma Akehi (Japan)
Match Schedule (All times CT)
Moscow def. United States, 3-2
Slovenia def. Japan, 3-0
China def. United States, 3-1
Netherlands def. CSP Izmailovo, 3-1
Moscow def. Finland, 3-0
CSP Izmailovo def. Japan, 3-0
China def. Finland, 3-0
Slovenia def. Netherlands, 3-2
Moscow def. China, 3-2
Netherlands def. Japan, 3-0
United States def. Finland, 3-1
CSP Izmailovo def. Slovenia, 3-0
Quarterfinal (A1 vs. B4) Moscow def. Japan, 3-0
Quarterfinal (B1 vs. A4) CSP Izmailovo def. Finland, 3-0
Quarterfinal (A2 vs. B3) China def. Slovenia, 3-0
Quarterfinal (B2 vs. A3) USA def. Netherlands, 3-0
Semifinal USA def. Moscow, 3-0
Semifinal China def. CSP Izmailovo, 3-0
Classification 5-8 Netherlands def. Japan 3-0
Classification 5-8 Slovenia def. Finland, 3-0
1 a.m.: Seventh place
1 a.m.: Fifth place
2:30 a.m.: Third place
4 a.m.: First place