COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 17, 2017) – In a rematch of the 2016 Paralympic gold medal match, the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team defeated host China on Wednesday, 25-23, 25-19, 25-17 in Hangzhou.
The United States (2-0) hit China (0-2) hard with 40 kills compared with China’s 21. The U.S. also led in aces, 15-6.
“I was very pleased with the team’s performance today,” U.S. Head Coach Bill Hamiter said via email. “Our energy and execution was up and down, but we competed throughout. We had some really good performances from some of our younger players who have had to pick up the slack with two of our starters not here. It's great to see our future greats shine.”
Heather Erickson, the 2016 Paralympic MVP, led all scorers with 20 points on a match-high 19 kills and one ace. Nicky Nieves added 14 points on seven kills, a team-high three blocks and four aces. Tia Edwards had a match-high six aces.
“This has been a great experience for my first international tournament with the team,” said team rookie Whitney Dosty who played against China as a substitute. “It has also been a great opportunity for me to get used to playing with the girls, and see the international competition."
China’s sitting team had long been the United States’ closest rival and held the world No. 1 ranking until its loss in the gold medal match in Rio de Janeiro. The U.S. is now ranked No. 1 in the world.
U.S. Starters vs China
Outside hitter: Monique Burkland and Lexi Shifflett
Middle blockers: Nicky Nieves and Tia Edwards
Opposite: Heather Erickson
Setter: Kaleo (Kanahele) Maclay
Libero: Bethany Zummo
U.S. Statistics vs China
Kills: Heather Erickson 19, Monique Burkland 8, Nicky Nieves 7, Kaleo (Kanahele) Maclay 2, Lexi Shifflett 3
Blocks: Nieves 3, Shifflett 1, Burkland 1, Maclay 1, Edwards 1
Aces: Edwards 6, Nieves 4, Burkland 2, Shifflett 1, Erickson 1, Maclay 1
U.S. Women’s Sitting TeamNo. - Name (Position, Height, Hometown)
2 - Bethany Zummo (L, 5-2, Dublin, Calif.)
3 - Alexis Shifflett (S, 5-4, Waseca, Minn.)
6 - Heather Erickson (OH, 5-11, Fayetteville, N.C.)
7 - Monique Burkland (OH, 5-9, Ardmore, Okla.)
8 - Whitney Dosty (OH, 6-3, Tucson, Ariz.)
10 - Kari Miller (L, 5-6, Washington D.C.)
14 - Kaleo Kanahele Maclay (S, 5-6, Edmond, Okla.)
16 - Nicky Nieves (MB, 5-10, Kissimmee, Fla.)
17 - Tia Edwards (OH, 5-7, Skitatook, Okla.)
18 - Courtney Baker (OPP, 5-8, Crofton, Ken.)
Head Coach: Bill Hamiter
Assistant Coaches: Lazaro Beltran and Jon Aharoni
Technical Coordinator: Jeff Hicks
Team Leader: Michelle Goodall
Athletic Trainer: Patrick Lawrence
Competition Schedule and Results (all times ET)
USA def Japan, 25-19, 25-12, 25-14
Russia def China, 25-20, 16-25, 25-19, 23-25, 15-7
Ukraine def Netherlands, 25-20, 23-25, 25-15, 22-25, 15-13
USA def China, 25-23, 25-18, 25-17
Netherlands def Japan, 25-12, 25-9, 20-25, 25-14
Russia def Ukraine, 25-18, 25-20, 25-20
May 18: USA vs Ukraine, 2 a.m.
May 18: USA vs Netherlands, 10 p.m.
May 20: USA vs Russia, 4 a.m.
May 21: Medal matches