Women's Sitting Remains Perfect at Worlds

By Bill Kauffman | June 17, 2014, 4:23 p.m. (ET)

ELBLAG, Poland (June 17, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team, ranked third in the world, swept Finland on Tuesday morning in pool play at the ParaVolley World Sitting Volleyball Championships in Elblag, Poland. Meanwhile, the U.S. Men’s Sitting Team couldn’t pull the upset over No. 1 Iran in its last Pool B match.

The U.S. Women improved to 3-0 in Pool A with a dominating 25-9, 25-3, 25-13 victory over Finland. Team USA will face Slovena on Wednesday at 2:15 a.m. CT before closing group play on Thursday against Russia at 6:30 a.m. CT. In the men’s match, Team USA lost to pool winner Iran 25-7, 25-15, 25-17. The U.S. men will play in the quarterfinal play-in match against Germany on Wednesday at 6:15 a.m. CT. Matches can be watched online at www.paravolley.pl.

Monique Burkland (Ardmore, Okla.) charted a match-high 16 points with five kills on 10 errorless attacks, eight aces on 13 serves and three blocks to lead Team USA. Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, N.C.) charted eight kills on 14 attacks, five aces and two blocks. Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Wash.) contributed 11 points via eight kills on 11 attacks, two aces and a block.

Michelle Schiffler (Lake Wales, Fla.) recorded seven points, while Kaleo Kanahele (Oklahoma City, Okla.) charted six points. Nicky Nieves (Kissimmee, Fla.) added two points and Abby Mueller (Houston) rounded out the scoring with a kill on her birthday. Bethany Zummo (Dublin, Calif.) handled nine receptions with a 56 positive reception percent as the libero.

The U.S. Women held a 20-2 ace advantage over Finland and held a 12-10 edge in blocks. For the match the Americans had a 50 positive reception percent and converted 56 percent of their attacks.

Team USA continues Pool A against Finland on Tuesday, followed by Slovenia on June 18 and Russia on June 19. The top two teams from both pools advance to the semifinal round on June 20, while the remaining teams compete in the classification round. The tournament concludes on June 21 with all final classification matches.

The U.S. Men struggled early against the top team in the world, falling behind 16-0 in the first set. However, the Americans were strong opponents the rest of the set and challenged the Iranians in both the last two sets.

J. Dee Marinko (Norman, Okla.) paced Team USA with six points with five kills and a block, while Eric Duda (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) added six points via four kills and two blocks. Roderick Green (West Monroe, La.) contributed three kills and two blocks for five points. Jese Schag (Sheridan, Ill.) provided three kills, while James Stuck (New Kensington, Pa.) and Dan Regan (St. Louis, Mo.) each added a single point.

Iran’s serve resulted in a 14-1 ace advantage and received serve at a 68 positive percent to the Americans’ 28 percent. The U.S. was out-blocked 5-4 for the match.

U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team
2 – Bethany Zummo (Dublin, Calif.)
3 – Lexi Shifflett (Waseca, Minn.)
4 – Michelle Schiffler (Lake Wales, Fla.)
5 – Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Wash.)
6 – Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, N.C.)
7 – Monique Burkland (Ardmore, Okla.)
9 – Abby Mueller (Houston, Texas)
13 – Nichole Millage (Champaign, Ill.)
14 – Kaleo Kanahele (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
16 – Nicole Nieves (Kissimmee, Fla.)
Head Coach: Bill Hamiter
Assistant Coaches: Cara Lang, Jeffery Hicks
Therapist: Patrick Lawrence
Team Manager: Laura Finch

U.S. Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team
1 – Travis Ricks (San Diego, Calif.)
2 – Dan Regan (St. Louis, Mo.)
3 – Sam Surowiec (Everett, Wash.)
4 – Benjamin Aman (Edmond, Okla.)
5 – Eric Duda (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
6 – Jese Shag (Sheridan, Ill.)
8 – James Stuck (New Kensington, Pa.)
9 – Hugo Storer (Greensboro, N.C.)
10 – Edgar Laforest (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
11 – Roderick Green (West Monroe, La.)
13 – Charlie Swearingen (Gulfport, Miss.)
18 – J. Dee Marinko (Norman, Okla.)
Head Coach: Quinton Kraeer
Assistant Coaches: Greg Walker, Joseph Skinner
Therapist: Katherine King
Team Manager: Dixie Collins

U.S. Women’s World Championship Schedule for Pool A (times local)
June 15: United States def. Great Britain 25-11, 25-11, 25-10
June 16: United States def. Poland 25-5, 25-8, 25-8
June 17: United States def. Finland 25-9, 25-23, 25-13
June 18: United States vs. Slovenia, 9:15 a.m., Court 2
June 19: United States vs. Russia, 1:30 p.m., Court 3
June 20: Semifinals and Classification Rounds
June 21: Final Classification Matches

U.S. Men’s World Championship Schedule for Pool B (times local)
June 15: Egypt def. United States 25-21, 25-20, 25-16
June 16: United States def. Iraq 25-17, 25-22, 25-22
June 17: Iran def. United States 25-7, 25-15, 25-17
June 18: Quarterfinal Play-in and 13-16 Classification matches
June 19: Quarterfinals and 9-16 Classification matches
June 20: Semifinals and 5-16 Classification matches
June 21: Final Classification matches