Women's Sitting Falls to China in Finale

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Oct. 24, 2015, 2:57 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 24, 2015) – The U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team, ranked second in the world, lost to top-ranked China 18-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-18 on Saturday morning to conclude a four-match series in Edmond, Okla.

Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Wash.) paced Team USA with 18 points via 16 kills on 40 attacks, one block and one ace. Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, N.C.) chipped in 13 kills on 43 swings, two blocks and an ace for 16 points. Monique Burkland (Ardmore, Okla.) tacked on 11 points with six kills on 13 attacks, four aces and a block for 11 points.

Nicky Nieves (Kissimmee, Fla.) charted four points and Lora Webster (Phoenix, Ariz.) added three points. Kaleo Kanehele (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and Lexi Shifflett (Waseca, Minn.) rounded out the scoring with a point each.

DataVolley Stats: Match 1 on Oct. 22 | Match 2 on Oct. 23 | Match 3 on Oct. 23 | Match 4 Oct. 24

Bethany Zummo (Dublin, Calif.) handled 20 of the team’s 85 receptions with a 70 percent positive rating. Erickson had a 67 percent positive reception on 18 chances, while Burkland had a 56 percent positive reception on 18 opportunities.

China out-blocked Team USA 15-6 in the victory and held a slim 10-9 margin in aces. China out-attacked the Americans 39 percent to 32 percent with a 43-39 advantage in kills.

China was paced by Zhao’s 20 points, while Chengzi added 16 points.

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. 22 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: China def. USA 18-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-18

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)

Staff
Head Coach: Bill Hamiter
Assistant Coaches: Cara Lang, Lazaro Beltran
Assistant Coach/Stats: Jeff Hicks
Team Leader: Dr. Laura Finch
Athletic Trainer: Patrick Lawrence