COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 5, 2014) – As the Winter Olympic Games heat up later this week with Opening Ceremony on Friday in Sochi, Russia, the U.S. Men’s National Sitting Volleyball Team will host their rivals from Canada in a four-match series Feb. 7-9 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
All four matches are open to the public and free of charge. Fans unable to attend the matches will also have the opportunity to watch the live video streams by clicking here.
Match Times (Listed in MT)
Friday, Feb. 7 at 3 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 8 at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 9 at 8:30 a.m.
The first two matches will be held in Sports Center II Gym #7. Seating is very limited for these two matches. The final two matches will be in Sports Center I Gym #1. Fans can enter the U.S. Olympic Training Center at the Boulder Street gate with venue doors opening an hour prior to the match.
After the first match of the series on Friday, the Men’s Sitting Team will get into the Winter Olympics spirit by traveling to downtown Colorado Springs and take part in the 2014 Olympic Downtown Celebration and Downtown Dash set for 5-10 p.m. The festivities will take place on Tejon Street from Platte Avenue to Pikes Peak Avenue. The athletes will be greeting the fans and signing autographs from 7-8:30 p.m.
The four-match series will serve as an early season warm-up for the 2014 ParaVolley World Championships to be held June 6-23 in Poland. Team USA qualified for the world event by earning the silver medal at the 2013 ParaVolley Pan American Sitting Volleyball Zonal Championship in October 2013. The Americans defeated the Canadians twice in the competition, including a four-set win in the semifinals. However, the U.S. lost to regional rival Brazil in the gold-medal match.
The Men’s Sitting Team program has had rare opportunities for competition on American soil and the upcoming matches are important dates on the 2014 calendar. The four matches in Colorado Springs will be the only formal matches the team will have prior to competition at the World Championships.
“We are always needing more matches, especially at home,” U.S. National Sitting Volleyball Teams Program Director Bill Hamiter said. “Playing Canada helps us in both those areas as well as gives us important preparation matches for Worlds.”
Both the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Sitting Volleyball Teams are based in Edmond, Okla., and train at University of Central Oklahoma. Hamiter feels these matches are a great opportunity to expose the sport to Olympic movement leaders in Colorado Springs.
“Neither of the Sitting Teams has ever played matches in Colorado Springs, so this is an excellent chance for the USA Volleyball national office and local supporters to watch the team play,” Hamiter said. “This also gives any USOC and U.S. Paralympics staff that are still in town (not in Sochi for Winter Olympic Games) a chance to view the team.”
U.S. Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team
1 – Travis Ricks (San Diego, Calif.)
2 – Dan Regan (St. Louis, Mo.)
3 – Samuel Surowiec (Everett, Wash.)
5 – Eric Duda (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
6 – Jese Schag (Sheridan, Ill.)
7 – Steven Doudt (Pendleton, Ind.)
8 – James Stuck (New Kensington, Penn.)
9 – Hugo Storer (Greensboro, N.C.)
10 – Edgardo LaForest (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
11 – Roderick Green (West Monroe, La.)
13 – Charlie Swearingen (Gulfport, Miss.)
14 – Benjamin Aman (Edmond, Okla.)
18 – J. Dee Marinko (Norman, Okla.)
Head Coach: Bill Hamiter
Assistant Coaches: Greg Walker, Quinton Kraeer
Team Manager: Dixie Collins
Canada Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team
4 – Larry Matthews
5 – Jesse Ward
7 – Douglas Learoyd
10 – Christopher Bird
11 – Jose Rebelo
12 – Jamoi Anderson
14 – Raymond Gauthier
15 – David Marchand
Head Coach: Ray Sewell
Assistant Coach: Paul Shearme