U.S. Men's Sitting Cruises by Colombia

By Bill Kauffman | Aug. 08, 2015, 4:43 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 8, 2015) – The U.S. Parapan Men’s Sitting Team cruised past Colombia 25-17, 25-21, 25-13 on Saturday to open the Parapan American Games in Toronto.

Team USA, which needs to either win the Parapan American Games or finish second to Brazil to earn a berth into the 2016 Rio Paralympics next summer, resumes action on Sunday against Mexico at 7:05 p.m. ET. The Women’s Sitting Team, which was idle today, opens the Parapan Am Games on Sunday against host Canada at 3:05 p.m. ET.

Team USA’s J Dee Marinko (New Castle, Okla.) led all scorers with 13 points with 11 kills on 21 attacks and two blocks. Eric Duda (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) chipped in eight kills on 16 swings, one block and one ace for 10 points. Edgardo Laforest (San Juan, Puerto Rico) contributed four kills, two blocks and an ace for seven points.

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Daniel Regan (St. Louis, Mo.) charted seven points with four kills, two blocks and an ace. Roderick Green (West Monroe, La.) pocketed four kills and a block for five points. James Stuck (New Kensington, Pa.) provided three blocks, one ace and one kill on offense. Stephen Bracken (Brighton, Colo.) rounded out the scoring with one kill as a late sub in the second set.

"I thought the team played well and were able to work through some nerves and get the system I've been implementing in full swing," U.S. Parapan Men's Sitting Team Head Coach Quinton Kraeer said. "I thought it was a good start to the tournament. "

Stuck ran the American offense to a 43.4 kill percent with 39 running sets on 49 set attempts. He added a team-best eight digs in the victory. John Kremer (Buford, Ga.), receiving his first start at libero in an official international contest, tallied six digs and had 10 excellent receptions on 15 chances. Duda was credited with six digs and seven excellent receptions on 11 chances. Marinko was a perfect seven-for-seven on receptions.

Team USA limited Colombia to a 30.8 kill percent and benefited from 27 errors from its opponent. The Americans enjoyed an 11-6 margin in blocks and a 4-1 advantage in aces.

In the opening set, the U.S. pulled away from a slim 10-9 advantage with a 6-2 scoring run to reach the second technical timeout leading 16-11. The Americans inched their way to the 25-17 victory as they converted 12 of 22 attacks with three blocks and two aces in the set.

The U.S. came back from a 9-7 deficit in the second set by scoring 11 unanswered points to grab an 18-9 advantage. Team USA held off a furious Colombia comeback to win 25-21. Marinko scored five points in the set to match his first set total. The Americans had four blocks in the set, but could only convert 38 percent of their attacks in the second set.

Team USA raced to a 7-1 advantage in the third set. Unlike the second set, the Americans never allowed Colombia to challenge the rest of the set in winning 25-13. The U.S. had four blocks in the set and benefited from 12 Colombia errors.

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)

Staff
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 def. Colombia 25-17, 25-21, 25-13
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