U.S. Women's Sitting Defeat Brazil, Russia

By Bill Kauffman | March 15, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)

DENVER, Colo. (March 15, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Sitting Volleyball Team won a pair of matches on Saturday to improve to 3-1 in the Denver Sitting Volleyball Challenge being held at the Colorado Convention Center.

Team USA, ranked second in the world, started the second day of the event by sweeping ParaPan rival Brazil 25-17, 25-10, 25-21. Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Wash.) and Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, N.C.) each recorded 13 points in the victory. Holloway scored five the USA’s 13 blocks in the match to go with eight kills on 13 attacks. Erickson slammed 10 kills on 18 attacks to go with three blocks.

Monique Burkland (Ardmore, Okla.) charted 10 points with six kills on nine errorless attacks and four the Americans’ eight aces. Nichole Millage (Champaign, Ill.) came off the bench in the second set to score eight points. Holloway handled a team-high 12 receptions with an 83 positive percent, while Bethany Zummo (Dublin, Calif.) recorded 10 receptions with a 60 positive percent.

In its second match of the day, Team USA held off No. 5 Russia 25-22, 25-18, 21-25, 24-26, 15-10 to avenge a four-set loss in the opening session of the tournament. Holloway led the Americans with 16 points, including a team-leading seven blocks and nine kills. Erickson turned in nine kills, three aces and three blocks for 15 points. Burkland added 15 points with eight kills, five blocks and two aces.

Millage, who only started the third and fifth sets, contributed 10 points with seven kills, two blocks and an ace. The U.S. held a 24-17 block advantage over Russia, who doubled-up the U.S. in aces 18-9.

The U.S. concludes the Denver Sitting Volleyball Challenge on Sunday at 8 a.m. MT versus No. 1 China. The Americans defeated China 3-0 on Friday evening for their second consecutive win over the three-time defending Paralympic Games gold medalists.

In other matches today, China edged Russia 25-22, 18-25, 25-23, 21-25, 15-12 in the morning session. China won a tough three-set match over Brazil 30-28, 28-26, 25-21 in the afternoon session.

All Denver Sitting Volleyball Challenge matches can be viewed online for free at coachesaid.com/channel.aspx?channel=104.

The four-team Denver Sitting Volleyball Challenge is being held in conjunction with the Colorado Crossroads, the first junior national qualifier into the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships.

U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team Roster
1 – Lora Webster (Phoenix, Ariz.)
2 – Bethany Zummo (Dublin, Calif.)
3 – Lexi Shifflet (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.)
8 – Angela DeHaan Palacio (Sacramento, Calif.)
9 – Abby Mueller (Houston, Texas)
13 – Nichole Millage (Champaign, Ill.)
14 – Kaleo Kanahele (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
16 – Nicky Nieves (Kissimmee, Fla.)
Head Coach: Bill Hamiter
Assistant Coaches: Cara Lang, Quinton Kraeer
Team Manager: Elliot Blake
Therapist/Trainer: Kazuma Akehi
Doctor: Laura Finch
Statistician: Jeff Hicks

Denver Sitting Volleyball Challenge Schedule (all times MT)

March 14 (Session 1)
China def. Brazil 25-12, 25-10, 25-17
Russia def. USA 21-25, 25-19, 28-26, 25-16

March 14 (Session 2)
Russia def. Brazil 25-21, 25-11, 25-22
USA def. China 25-23, 25-20, 25-17

March 15 (Session 3)
China def. Russia 25-22, 18-25, 25-23, 21-25, 15-12
USA def. Brazil 25-17, 25-10, 25-21

March 15 (Session 4)
China def. Brazil 30-28, 28-26, 25-21
USA def. Russia 25-22, 25-18, 21-25, 24-26, 15-10

March 16 (Session 5)
USA vs. China at 8 a.m.
Brazil vs. Russia at 10 a.m.