COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 6, 2015) – USA Volleyball has announced its 12-member U.S. Parapan Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team that will compete in the Parapan American Games taking place Aug. 9-14 in Toronto, Canada.
U.S. Head Coach Quinton Kraeer has selected a roster that boasts 11 players with World Championships experience, but all vying for their first Paralympic Games experience. The winner of the Parapan American Games earns a berth into the Rio 2016 Paralympics, or the second-place finisher should Brazil capture the title.
“This is one of our best chances to qualify for Rio, so this roster was very important,” Kraeer said. “I spent many hours talking with staff about making the right choices. I feel that the team is ready for the Parapan Am Games. I have been pushing the guys very hard and they are ready to see it pay off.”
Outside hitter Eric Duda (Fort Lauderdale), who will serve as captain, leads the experienced squad with 56 international matches played. Other outside hitters on the squad include J Dee Marinko (New Castle, Okla.) and Ben Aman (Edmond, Okla.). Setters selected to the squad are James Stuck (New Kensington, Pa.) and Jese Schag (Sheridan, Ill.).
The middle blockers are Roderick Green (West Monroe, La.) and Dan Regan (St. Louis, Mo.). Edgardo Laforest (San Juan, Puerto Rico) is the lone opposite on the team, while liberos are Hugo Storer (Greensboro, N.C.) and John Kremer (Buford, Ga.). Travis Ricks (San Diego, Calif.) is listed as the defensive specialist.
Stuck has played in 44 international matches, while Green has 40 matches. Regan follows with 39 matches. Kremer is the only player without experience at the World Championship, but played in the Sarajevo Open in May 2015 after being a part of the A2 program.
The U.S. opens the preliminary round on Aug. 8 against Colombia, followed by matches against Mexico on Aug. 9, host Canada on Aug. 10, Costa Rica on Aug. 11 and Brazil on Aug. 12. The semifinal round takes place on Aug. 13, followed by the medal round on Aug. 14.
“I am excited about the upcoming tournament and to see what this roster can do as we are going to be able to see what some of our young guys do in their first real test,” Kraeer said.
The Parapan American Games sitting volleyball competition will take place at the Aquatics Centre and Field House in Toronto.
The 2015 U.S. Parapan American Volleyball Team is subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee.
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)
4 – Ben Aman (OH, Edmond, Okla., 6-5)
5 – Eric Duda (OH, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 6-5)
6 – Jese Schag (S, Sheridan, Ill., 6-2)
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: TBA
Team Leader: Dixie Collins
U.S. Parapan American Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team Schedule (times listed as local)
Aug. 8: United States vs. Colombia, 3 p.m.
Aug. 9: United States vs. Mexico
Aug. 10: United States vs. Canada
Aug. 11: United States vs. Costa Rica
Aug. 12: United States vs. Brazil
Aug. 13: Semifinals
Aug. 14: Medal Round