Women's Sitting Volleyball Splits Pair vs China

Oct. 23, 2015, 10:35 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 23, 2015) – The U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team, ranked second in the world, split a pair of matches on Friday against top-ranked China with the four-match exhibition series being played at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Okla.

The series concludes on Saturday at 9 a.m. CT on the East Court in the UCO Wellness Center. Admission is free.

In the first match on Friday morning, China captured a 25-23, 25-19, 25-19 victory over the host Americans. Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, N.C.) was the lone Team USA player in double-digit scoring with eight kills on 20 attacks and two blocks for 10 points. Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Wash.) chipped in five kills, two blocks and two aces for nine points. Monique Burkland (Ardmore, Okla.) contributed four kills, two blocks and an ace in the loss.

DataVolley Stats: Match 1 on Oct. 23 | Match 2 on Oct. 23

Kaleo Kanahele (Oklahoma City, Okla.) pocketed three aces, two kills and an ace for six points. Lora Webster (Phoenix, Ariz.) provided three blocks and an ace for four points. Nicky Nieves (Kissimmee, Fla.) was credited with two blocks and an ace, while Nichole Millage (Champaign, Ill.) rounded out the scoring with an ace and block for two points.

Burkland handled 21 of the team’s 64 receptions with at a 67 percent positive rate and Erickson added a 50 percent positive reception on 14 chances. Libero Bethany Zummo (Dublin, Calif.) added nine receptions with a 67 positive percent.

Team USA out-blocked China 13-10 and committed eight fewer hitting errors (20-12). However, China out-totaled the Americans 36-20 on kills with a 40 kill percent to Team USA’s 26 kill percent. China managed a slim 10-8 margin in aces.

Team USA bounced back to win the second match of the day 15-25, 25-15, 26-24, 15-25, 15-12. Erickson totaled a team-high 17 points with 12 kills on 26 attacks, four aces and a block. Holloway added 10 kills, two aces and a block for 13 points. Webster contributed six blocks, five aces and a kill for 12 points. Nieves added seven kills and four blocks for 11 points.

Burkland scored seven points, including three blocks. Kanahele turned in three blocks, two kills and an ace for six points to round out the scoring.

Zummo was credited with a 70 positive reception percent on a team-best 27 chances, while Burkland added 23 receptions with a 65 positive percent.

Team USA out-blocked China 18-12 in the afternoon victory and won the serving battle 12-8 in aces. The Americans were 60 percent positive on reception. In the tiebreaking set, the U.S. converted 47 percent of its attacks.

The U.S. and China, both already qualified to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, have developed a rivalry of epic proportions over the last decade. Team USA has lost to China in the gold-medal match in each of the last two Paralympic Games and ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball World Championships.

However, the Americans have come closer to putting the elusive gold around their necks in the major competitions. The U.S. held a match point in the deciding fifth set at the 2014 World Championship before China came back to win. The Americans also won two matches against the Chinese at the 2014 Denver Sitting Volleyball Challenge. The U.S. earned its first-ever tournament win over China during the 2013 Moscow Cup to claim the gold medal.

The U.S. Women's Sitting Volleyball Team is based at UCO and has regular training blocks on the campus during the course of the year.

U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team vs. China in Edmond, Okla.
Oct. 22: China def. USA 26-24, 21-25, 25-17, 25-18
Oct. 23: China def. USA 25-23, 25-19, 25-19
Oct. 23: USA def. China 15-25, 25-15, 26-24, 15-25, 15-12
Oct. 24: USA vs. China, 9 a.m.

U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team Roster vs. China (Oct. 22-24)
#- Name (Position, Hometown, Height)
1 – Lora Webster (MB, Phoenix, Ariz., 5-11)
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)
10 – Kari Miller (OPP/DS, 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 Coaches: Cara Lang, Lazaro Beltran
Assistant Coach/Stats: Jeff Hicks
Team Leader: Dr. Laura Finch
Athletic Trainer: Patrick Lawrence