Sitting Team Goes 4-0 vs Canada

By BJ Evans | Feb. 10, 2014, 4:30 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (February 10, 2014) – The U.S. Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team began its road to the 2014 World Championships by winning four friendly matches over Canada on Feb. 7-9 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

J. Dee Marinko (16) hits the ball against Canada off a set from James Stuck, left
 J. Dee Marinko (18) hits the ball against Canada off a set
  from James Stuck, left

The U.S. Men used the exhibition matches to work on their new 5-1 offense. The team hopes to use the offense when it plays in the World ParaVolley 2014 World Championships on June 10-22 in Poland. Its goal is to finish in the top six in Poland, and then focus on qualifying for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“We needed more playing time with the 5-1 system – we used to run the 6-2 – so that part definitely was good,” U.S. Head Coach Bill Hamiter (Bethany, Okla.) said. “The other goal was to get some of these less-experienced players some time on the court. We were able to do that quite a bit.

“I think that’s what both teams need and that’s part of the reason why we did this. We’ve just got to get more playing time. Neither one of us are able to travel as much as we’d like.”

Among the newer players who competed for the U.S. were Travis Ricks (San Diego, Calif.), Samuel Surowiec (Everett, Wash.), Jese Schag (Sheridan, Ill.), Steven Doudt (Pendleton, Ind.) and Benjamin Aman (Edmond, Okla.).

U.S. Team Captain Eric Duda (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) appreciated the crowds that came out to cheer for the teams, particularly on Saturday.

“Playing in front of a crowd is always a thing that we can’t really replicate (in practice),” Duda said. “It’s nice that we could have a good and very friendly crowd to cheer us on.”

On Friday evening, the U.S. defeated Canada, 23-25, 25-12, 23-25, 25-22, 15-11.  Edgar LaForest (San Juan, Puerto Rico) led the team in scoring with 13 points on a team-high eight kills, three blocks and two aces. J. Dee Marinko (Norman, Okla.) added 12 points on five attacks, a team-high four blocks and three aces. Charlie Swearingen (Gulfport, Miss.) and Dan Regan (St. Louis, Mo.) each scored 11 points. Libero Hugo Storer (Greensboro, N.C.) was credited with 36 receptions, 44 percent positive.

On Saturday morning, the United States won 25-17, 25-17, 25-14. Duda led the scoring with 16 points on a match-high 10 attacks, three blocks and a team-high three aces. Marinko added 13 points on 10 attacks and three blocks. Regan scored seven points on four kills, two blocks and one ace.

On Saturday night, the U.S. defeated Canada, 25-6, 24-26, 25-15, 25-16. Duda had what he calls the “best match statistically of his career” scoring 23 points on a match-high 19 attacks, one blocks and a match-high three aces. Regan added 13 points on seven kills and five blocks. Marinko totaled 10 points on six kills and four blocks. Roderick Green (West Monroe, La.) scored nine points on five attacks, three blocks and one ace. James Stuck (New Kensington, Penn.) totaled seven points on two attacks and five blocks. Storer was credited with 23 receptions, 52 percent positive.

In Sunday morning’s finale, the U.S. won 32-30, 22-25, 25-21, 25-20. Duda led his team with 17 points on 12 attacks, four blocks and one ace. Regan contributed 16 points on eight kills, a match-high seven blocks and one ace. Green totaled 14 points on seven attacks, four blocks and a match-high three aces. Stuck added seven points on five kills, one block and one ace. Marinko had six points on four kills, one block and one ace. Playing libero, Ricks was credited with 21 receptions, 57 percent positive. Schag added 19 receptions, 42 percent positive.

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