U.S. Sitting Team Sweeps China for Gold

Aug. 18, 2013, 11:25 a.m. (ET)
The U.S. Women's Sitting Volleyball Team in Moscow
   The U.S. Women's Sitting Volleyball Team poses after its historic victory over China.

B.J. Hoeptner Evans, Manager, Communications, Phone: (719) 228-6800, E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org
USAV Facebook - @USA_Volleyball

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 17, 2013) – The U.S. Women's Sitting Volleyball Team got its first ever tournament defeat of arch-rival China on Sunday to win the final of the Moscow Open Cup in Russia.

MVP Heather Erickson in Moscow
   Heather Erickson and her trophy for being
   named most valuable player.

The U.S. Women, ranked No. 2 in the world, beat world No. 1 China, 25-21, 25-20, 25-22 to finish the tournament with a 4-2 record. China (4-2) has beaten the United States in the finals of several important tournaments including the 2008 and ’12 Paralympic Games and the 2010 Sitting Volleyball Word Championships.

In the Moscow final, the U.S. was down 1-8 in the first set, but rallied behind Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, N.C.), who was named the tournament most valuable player. On Sunday, she led all scorers in the match with 19 points on match-highs of 13 attacks and five blocks along with one ace.

“It was great to see the ladies chip away at that lead (in the first set) until we went ahead 16-14 at the second technical timeout, going on to win 25-21,” U.S. Head Coach Bill Hamiter (Bethany, Okla.) said. “That comeback was significant in giving the team confidence.”

Erickson credited her teammates for her award.

"I am humbled and honored to receive the award but it wouldn't have been possible without my teammates," she said.

Behind Erickson, Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Wash.) finished with 13 points on 11 kills and two aces. Monique Burkland (Ardmore, Okla.) scored six points on three kills and three aces. Nicky Nieves (Kissimmee, Fla.) totaled six points on five attacks and one block.

Nichole Millage (Champaign, Ill.) totaled four points on two attacks, one block and one ace. Kaleo Kanahele (Oklahoma City, Okla.) had three points on one kill and two aces.

Libero Kari Miller (Washington, D.C.) led in receptions with 17, 65 percent positive. Millage had 15 receptions at 40 percent positive.

To view the tournament home page, click here.

The U.S. Women's Sitting Volleyball Team
   The U.S. Women's Sitting Team prepares for a match in Moscow

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.)
Athletic Trainer: Kazuma Akehi, ACT (Japan)

Match Schedule (All times CT)
Aug. 16
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

Aug. 17
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

Aug. 18
Seventh place Japan def. Finland, 3-0
Fifth place Netherlands def. Slovenia, 3-0
Third Place Moscow def. CSP Izmailovo, 3-0
First Place USA def. China, 3-0