Women's Sitting Earns Worlds Semi Berth, Russia First

By Bill Kauffman | June 18, 2014, 3:28 p.m. (ET)

ELBLAG, Poland (June 18, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team, ranked third in the world, advanced to the ParaVolley Sitting World Championships semifinals following a sweep over Slovenia on Wednesday at Elblag, Poland. However, the U.S. Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team lost to Germany in its quarterfinal play-in match.

The U.S. Women improved to 4-0 in Pool A with a 25-10, 25-14, 25-14 victory over Slovenia. Team USA closes out pool play on Thursday at 6:30 a.m. CT against undefeated Russia. Both teams have qualified for Friday’s semifinals, but the winner will go into the playoffs as Pool A’s top seed and face the second-place team from Pool B that includes world’s top-ranked China. Matches can be watched online at www.paravolley.pl.

“I expect Russia to be a great matchup going into the semifinals,” Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Wash.) said. “I expect Russia to be tall with big blocks and be great competition for us leading up to our crossover match, whoever that may be against. I am not overlooking Russia, but I am definitely excited to play them. I am expecting good serves and big blocks from Russia.”

Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, N.C.) scored a match-high 12 points with eight kills and four aces. Holloway contributed eight kills on 13 attacks and two aces for 10 points. Kaleo Kanahele (Oklahoma City, Okla.) contributed six points three blocks and three aces. Michelle Schiffler (Lake Wales, Fla.) tacked on six points with four blocks and two aces.

Monique Burkland (Ardmore, Okla.) charted four kills, one ace and one block for six points. Nicky Nieves (Kissimmee, Fla.) added three aces and a block in a starting role for the U.S. Abby Mueller (Houston) and Nichole Millage (Champaign, Ill.) tacked on two points apiece, while Lexi Shiffler (Waseca, Minn.) rounded out the scoring with a block. Bethany Zummo (Dublin, Calif.) was credited with an 85 excellent reception percent on a team-leading 13 service receptions.

The U.S. out-served Slovenia 16-1 in aces and benefited from seven service errors from the Europeans. Team USA converted 40 percent of its attacks into points to offset Slovenia’s 11-8 block advantage.

The U.S. Men led Germany 22-19 late in the opening set before Germany scored the final six points to win the first set. The Americans were unable to regain the momentum in the second set as Germany took leads of 8-5 and 16-7 at the technical timeouts before winning 25-17. The third set remained close as Germany lead 15-13 before rolling out to a 25-18 victory.

Erica Duda (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) paced the Americans with 10 kills on 29 attacks and a block for 11 points. James Stuck (New Kensington, Pa.) provided four kills, four blocks and an ace for nine points. Roderick Green (West Monroe, La.) tallied seven points on four kills and three blocks.

Dan Regan (St. Louis, Mo.) and Edgar Laforest (San Juan, Puerto Rico) totaled four points each, followed by J. Dee Marinko (New Castle, Okla.) with three points. Jese Schag (Sheridan, Ill.) contributed two points, while Charlie Swearingen (Gulfport, Miss.) rounded out the scoring with a block and ace for two points.

The U.S. Men now face Croatia in the 9-12 classification match on Thursday at 8 a.m. CT.

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 (New Castle, 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 def. Slovenia 25-10, 25-14, 25-14
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: Germany def. United States 25-22, 25-17, 25-18
June 19: United States vs. Croatia, 3 p.m.
June 20: Semifinals and 5-16 Classification Matches
June 21: Final Classification matches