Balance Leads Women's Sitting Team Past Ukraine

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | April 12, 2019, 11:25 p.m. (ET)

Katie Holloway attacking the Ukraine net defense
Katie Holloway attacking the Ukraine net defense

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 12, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s National Sitting Volleyball Team defeated Ukraine 25-14, 25-14, 25-9 on Friday afternoon to open a three-match exhibition series at Team USA’s University of Central Oklahoma training headquarters in Edmond. The teams also played two bonus sets with the U.S. winning set four 25-11 before Ukraine won the fifth set 15-12.

Team USA changed its lineup in all five sets in which 16 different players started at least one set. Monique Burkland highlighted the stat sheet with a match-high 15 points with six blocks, five kills and four aces in starting the first four sets. Katie Holloway, who started the three of the five sets, chipped in eight kills on 14 swings, four blocks and two aces for 14 points. Heather Erickson, who also started three of the first four sets, contributed 11 points with 10 kills on 18 swings and an ace.

Lora Webster chalked up five kills on 14 swings and two blocks for seven points in starting three sets. Annie Flood, who started just the fourth set after being a sub in two of the first three sets, brought home five points with three aces on 12 serves and two kills on four swings. Lexi Shifflett, Nicky Nieves, Tia Edwards and Courtney Baker all scored four points. Jillian Williams, Nichole Millage and Kaleo Maclay added three points apiece. Whitney Dosty and Bethany Zummo rounded out the scoring with one point each.

Zummo handled 14 receptions for Team USA with a 43 positive percent as she played in the odds sets at libero. Burkland was 56 percent positive on nine receptions, while Erickson was 43 percent positive on seven chances. Sydney Satchell charted a 50 positive reception percent on six chances.

The U.S. held a 16-6 ace advantage and out-blocked Ukraine 18-14. The Americans produced 45 kills as a team with a 35 kill percent while limiting Ukraine to an 18 kill percent and 18 total kills.

The exhibition series resumes on Saturday with a 4 p.m. CT match, followed by Sunday’s finale at 9 a.m. CT. The scrimmages, which are open to the public, take place at the UCO Wellness Center (550 N. University Drive).

The U.S. Women are currently ranked No. 1 in the world after having won the 2016 Paralympic Games and earning silver at the 2018 World ParaVolley World Championships. Ukraine is ranked fourth in World ParaVolley rankings. Ukraine finished sixth at last year’s World Championship and placed fourth at the 2016 Paralympic Games.

The Americans are now 6-0 in 2019 after defeating Canada all five matches held March 15-17 in Denver.

U.S. Women’s Sitting Team versus Ukraine – Match 1
Points: Monique Burkland 15, Katie Holloway 14, Heather Erickson 11, Lora Webster 7, Annie Flood 5, Lexi Shifflett 4, Nicky Nieves 4, Tia Edwards 4, Courtney Baker 4, Jillian Williams 3, Nichole Millage 3, Kaleo Maclay, Bethany Zummo 1.
Kills-Attacks: Heather Erickson 10-18, Katie Holloway 8-20, Lora Webster 5-14, Monique Burkland 5-22, Kaleo Maclay 3-6, Nicky Nieves 3-6, Tia Edwards 3-8, Jillian Williams 2-6, Nichole Millage 2-7, Annie Flood 2-4, Courtney Baker 2-7, Lexi Shifflett 0-2, Whitney Dosty 0-1, Sydney Satchell 0-1, Emma Schieck 0-4.
Blocks: Monique Burkland 6, Katie Holloway 4, Lora Webster 2, Bethany Zummo 1, Jillian Williams 1, Nicole Millage 1, Nicky Nieves 1, Tia Edwards 1, Courtney Baker 1
Aces: Lexi Shifflett 4, Monique Burkland 4, Annie Flood 3, Katie Holloway 2, Heather Erickson 1, Whitney Dosty 1, Courtney Baker 1

# - Name (Position, Height, Hometown)
1 – Lora Webster (M, 5-11, Point Lookout, N.Y.)
2 – Bethany Zummo (L, 5-2, Dublin, Calif.)
3 – Lexi Shifflett (S, 5-4, Waseca, Minn.)
5 – Katie Holloway (OH, 6-3, Lake Stevens, Wash.)
6 – Heather Erickson (OH, 5-11, Fayetteville, N.C.)
7 – Monique Burkland (OH, 5-9, Ardmore, Okla.)
8 – Whitney Dosty (OH, 6-3, Tucson)
10 – Sydney Satchell (L, 5-1, Oklahoma City, Okla.)
11 -
Jillian Williams (OPP, 5-10, Odem, Texas)
12 – Emma Schieck (OH, 5-8, Statesville, N.C.)
13 – Nichole Millage (OH, 5-7, Champaign, Ill.)
14 – Kaleo Maclay (S, 5-6, Honolulu, Hawaii)
15 – Annie Flood (S/OPP, 5-8, Salem, Ore.)
16 – Nicole Nieves (M, 5-10, Kissimmee, Fla.)
17 – Tia Edwards (OH, 5-7, Skitatook, Okla.)
18 – Courtney Baker (OH, 5-8, Crofton, Ky.)

Head Coach: Bill Hamiter
Assistant Coaches: Michelle Goodall, Jon Aharoni