U.S. Men's Sitting Volleyball Team Falls To Brazil In Paralympic Opener

By USA Volleyball | Sept. 09, 2016, 4:06 p.m. (ET)
Roderick Green (#11) and J. Dee Marinko block against Brazil at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on Sept. 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.


RIO DE JANEIRO – The U.S. Paralympic Men's Volleyball Team battled the host country, but fell to Brazil, 25-14, 25-17, 25-14, on Friday in the opening match of the 2016 Paralympic Games.

U.S. Team Captain Eric Duda (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), Roderick Green (West Monroe, Louisiana) and J. Dee Marinko (Norman, Oklahoma) each scored six points in the United States' effort.

The No. 2 ranked Brazilians were led by Anderson Ribas da Silva (18 points and Frederico Doria de Souza (14 points). Brazil recorded 31 kills to the U.S.’s 22 and out-blocked the Americans 18-6. However, the U.S. limited its errors to 17, compared to Brazil’s 22 unforced errors.

“I thought our guys adjusted well as the match went on and did what we asked them to,” Head Coach Greg Walker said. “They’re a great team and now it’s out of the way. Now we have some other work to do. We’re excited about it.”

Brazil jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first set; the U.S. rallied but never closed the gap to less than four points. A Marinko kill following the match’s longest rally appeared to swing the momentum toward the U.S., but Brazil’s Renato De Oliverira Leite put the next ball down to put Brazil back in control.

The U.S. led through the first half of Set 2 with tough blocking by Green and Jese Schag (Norway, Illinois). Green led the U.S. block defense with three blocks and eight rebounds on 14 attempts. Setter James Stuck (Puyallup, Washington) led the back row with five digs; Duda and Marinko added three each.

Trailing 9-4, Brazil mustered an 8-1 run to take a lead it would not surrender the rest of the match. Despite the disappointing outcome, Duda and Waker were optimistic about the team’s performance and ability to recover from the loss.

“Our opponents were huge and physical. I mean, they’ve got a guy who’s seven feet tall. That’s tough to replicate in practice,” Duda said.

“Brazil is the biggest, most physical team we’ll play and now it’s out of the way,” Walker added.

The U.S. faces Egypt in the second match of pool play on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. local time, 5:30 p.m. ET.

The matches are not available for broadcast or livestream viewing to fans in the United States. Fans outside the U.S. can watch live at Paralympic.org. Fans in the U.S. are encouraged to follow the matches at http://bit.ly/RioSitVB and check USA Volleyball’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for live results.

U.S. Paralympic Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team Roster
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown)

2. Dan Regan (Middle Blocker, 6-0, St. Louis, Missouri)
4. Ben Aman (Outside Hitter, 6-5, Tacoma, Washington)
5. Eric Duda (Outside Hitter, 6-5, Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
6. Jese Schag (Setter, 6-2, Norway, Illinois)
8. James Stuck (Setter, 6-5, New Kensington, Pennsylvania)
10. Edgar LaForest (Outside Hitter, 6-2, San Juan, Puerto Rico)
11. Roderick Green (Middle Blocker, 6-3, West Monroe, Louisiana)
13. Charlie Swearingen (Outside Hitter, 6-3, Gulfport, Mississippi)
14. John Kremer (Libero, 5-9, Buford, Georgia)
15. Chris Seilkop (Outside Hitter/Middle Blocker, 6-6 DeLand, Florida)
16. Josh Smith (6-2 Opposite, Riverside, California)
18. J. Dee Marinko (Outside Hitter, 6-4, Norman, Oklahoma)

Head Coach: Greg Walker
Assistant Coach: Joe Skinner
Team Leader: Dixie Collins
Athletic Trainer: Katherine King

2016 Paralympic Games Men’s Sitting Volleyball Pools
Pool A: Brazil, Egypt, Germany, United States
Pool B: Iran, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine, China

2016 Paralympic Games Men’s Sitting Volleyball Pool Schedules
All times EDT

Sept. 9
Brazil def. USA, 25-14, 25-17, 25-14
Egypt vs. Germany, 1 p.m.

Sept. 10
Iran vs. China, 5:30 p.m.
Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Ukraine, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 11
Brazil vs. Egypt, 9 a.m.
USA vs. Germany, 5:30 p.m.

Sept. 12
China vs. Ukraine, 1 p.m.
Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Iran, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 13
USA vs. Egypt, 1 p.m.
Germany vs. Brazil, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 14
Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. China, 5:30 p.m.
Ukraine vs. Iran, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 16
Men’s 7th-8th Classification, 12:30 p.m.
Men’s 5th-6th Classification, 2:30 p.m.
Semifinal 1: 5:30 p.m.
Semifinal 2: 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 18
Men’s bronze medal match, 8:30 a.m.
Men’s gold medal match, 11 a.m.