Team United States get ready prior to the Women's Sitting Volleyball gold medal match between and China and USA at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games on September 05, 2021 in Chiba, Japan.
A year after the U.S. women’s sitting volleyball team won its second consecutive Paralympic gold medal, the squad is off to a strong start in its quest to win a first world title.
Pool play wrapped up Monday at the WPV Sitting Volleyball World Championships in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and the top-ranked U.S. women held a perfect 3-0 record. Meanwhile, the U.S. men were 2-1 in pool play and defeated Iraq in the round of 16 on Monday.
The women’s playoff rounds begin with the round of 16 on Tuesday, and the tournaments continues through the medal matches on Friday.
The world championships are held every four years, and the U.S. women have won silver medals in each of the last three tournaments. The American men have never won a medal at the world championships. They’re also looking for redemption after failing to qualify for the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The women kicked things off on Friday with a 3-1 win over Iran, then overcame a slow start to defeat Canada 3-2 on Sunday. Pool play wrapped up in a less climactic 3-0 sweep over Serbia. With a perfect record atop Group B, the U.S. earned a bye into Wednesday’s quarterfinals.
For the U.S. men, pool play began Friday with a 3-0 sweep over Japan, followed by a 3-1 win over Bosnia & Herzegovina on Saturday and then another 3-0 sweep on Sunday, this time against Serbia.
In the first round of knockout play, the U.S. turned back a late rally from Iraq to win 3-2. They faced Iran, the defending Paralympic and world champions, in the quarterfinals on Tuesday and lost 3-0.
The men’s and women’s winners in Sarajevo will lock up their berths in the Paralympic Games Paris 2024.