COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 6, 2015) – The 2015 Parapan American Games will provide different motivations for the two U.S. Parapan Am Games Sitting Volleyball Teams competing in the event Aug. 8-14 in Toronto.
While the women’s squad has already qualified for the 2016 Rio Paralympics next year by virtue of its silver-medal performance at the 2014 World ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball World Championship, the men’s team will be seeking its berth into the Paralympics at the Parapan Am Games. For qualification, the men must either win the Parapan Am Games or finish second to 2016 Paralympic Games host Brazil.
"The team has been looking great leading up to this tournament,” U.S. Parapan Am Games Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team Head Coach Quinton Kraeer said. “We just finished up a men's camp this weekend and the energy and focus was exciting to see. I think everyone understands the importance of this tournament and are ready to see what we can do."
The U.S. Men are aiming to qualify for the Paralympics for the first time since the 2004 Paralympics in Athens.
For the women, they will be part of history and would like to etch their names in the records at the same time.
“The women have been training hard for the Games and executing well,” U.S. Parapan Am Games Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team Head Coach Bill Hamiter said. “This will be the first time a women's sitting volleyball division has been offered at the Parapans and our women are motivated to be the inaugural winner. We are looking forward to competing at this major zonal tournament.”
The U.S. Parapan American Games Women’s Sitting Team starts the tournament against the host Canadians on Aug. 9 at 3:05 p.m. ET, followed by an Aug. 10 match against Cuba at 3:05 p.m. ET. Team USA concludes the round-robin preliminary round on Aug. 11 against Brazil at 7 p.m. ET. The semifinals are slated for Aug. 13, followed by the medal round matches on Aug. 14.
On the men’s side, Team USA opens the preliminary round on Aug. 8 against Colombia at 3:05 p.m. ET, followed by matches against Mexico on Aug. 9 at 7:05 p.m. ET, host Canada on Aug. 10 at 7:05 p.m. ET, Costa Rica on Aug. 11 at 11:05 a.m. ET and Brazil on Aug. 12 at 7:05 p.m. ET. The semifinal round takes place on Aug. 13, followed by the medal round on Aug. 14.
“The Parapan American Games is the only setting we have that closely reflects the dynamics the team will face at the Paralympics. Staying in a village, eating in a cafeteria, match/tournament formats, stats and match preparation, etc. are all important experiences for us,” Hamiter said. “The Games help us in preparing for the Paralympics next year, but I don’t want to mislead you, we are going to Toronto with the full intention of winning the gold medal. That is not an easy task as we face Brazil, host Canada and an athletic first-time participant Cuba.”
U.S. Parapan American Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team Roster
#- Name (Position, Hometown, Height)
2 – Bethany Zummo (L, Dublin, Calif., 5-2)
3 – Lexi Shifflett (S, Waseca, Minn., 5-4)
5 – Katie Holloway (OH, Lake Stevens, Wash., 6-3)
6 – Heather Erickson (OH, Fayetteville, N.C., 5-11)
7 – Monique Burkland (MB, Ardmore, Okla., 5-9)
8 – Angela Palacio (OH, Yuba City, Calif., 5-8)
10 – Kari Miller (L, Washington, D.C., 5-6)
13 – Nichole Millage (OPP, Champaign, Ill., 5-8)
14 – Kaleo Kanahele (S, Oklahoma City, Okla., 5-6)
16 – Nicky Nieves (MB/OH, Kissimmee, Fla., 5-8)
17 – Tia Edwards (OH/MB, Skiatook, Okla., 5-7)
18 – Courtney Baker (OPP, Crofton, Ky., 5-8)
Head Coach: Bill Hamiter
Assistant Coach: Lazaro Beltran
Assistant Coach/Stats: Jeff Hicks
Team Leader: Dr. Laura Finch
Athletic Trainer: Patrick Lawrence
U.S. Parapan American Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team Schedule (times listed as ET)
Aug. 9: USA vs. Canada, 3:05 p.m.
Aug. 10: USA vs. Cuba, 3:05 p.m.
Aug. 11: USA vs. Brazil, 7 p.m.
Aug. 13: Semifinals, TBA
Aug. 14: Medal Rounds, TBA
U.S. Parapan American Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team Roster
1 – Travis Ricks (DS, San Diego, Calif., 5-7)
2 – Daniel Regan (MB, St. Louis, Mo., 6-0)
5 – Eric Duda (OH, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 6-5)
6 – Jese Schag (S, Sheridan, Ill., 6-2)
7 – Stephen Bracken (OH, Brighton, Colo., 6-3)
8 – James Stuck (S, New Kensington, Pa., 6-5)
9 – Hugo Storer (L, Greensboro, N.C., 6-0)
10 – Edgardo Laforest (OPP, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 6-1)
11 – Roderick Green (MB, West Monroe, La., 6-3)
13 – Charlie Swearingen (MB, Gulfport, Miss., 6-3)
14 – John Kremer (L, Buford, Ga., 5-9)
18 – J Dee Marinko (OH, New Castle, Okla., 6-4)
Head Coach: Quinton Kraeer
Assistant Coach: Greg Walker
Assistant Coach/Technical Coordinator: Elliot Blake
Trainer: Patrick Lawrence
Team Leader: Dixie Collins
U.S. Parapan American Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team Schedule (times listed as ET)
Aug. 8: United States vs. Colombia, 3:05 p.m.
Aug. 9: United States vs. Mexico, 7:05 p.m.
Aug. 10: United States vs. Canada, 7:05 p.m.
Aug. 11: United States vs. Costa Rica, 11:05 a.m.
Aug. 12: United States vs. Brazil, 7:05 p.m.
Aug. 13: Semifinals
Aug. 14: Medal Round