COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 26, 2019) – Both the U.S. Women’s and Men’s Sitting Teams picked up victories on Sunday to conclude their five-match exhibition series with Russia and Canada, respectively. The matches were staged in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Open National Championships in Columbus, Ohio.

Both the U.S. Women’s and Men’s Sitting Teams picked up victories on Sunday to conclude their five-match exhibition…

The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team, ranked No. 1 in the world, edged defending World ParaVolley champions Russia 25-18, 20-25, 26-24, 16-25, 15-10 in their final exhibition match. The U.S. went 5-0 against Russia this weekend and improved to 12-0 on the year. The Americans are 33-1 since the start of 2018, the only loss being to Russia in the World Championship finale.

Lora Webster (Point Lookout, New York) led the Americans with 12 kills on 30 attacks, three aces and three blocks for 18 points. Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Washington) added 12 points, including 11 kills on 23 attacks and an ace. Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, North Carolina) and Monique Burkland (Ardmore, Oklahoma), who both played just two sets, add nine and eight points, respectively. Team USA had 11 players score at least two points in the victory.

Jillian Williams (Odem, Texas) handled 18 serves with a 56 positive reception percent to go with four points. Libero Sydney Satchell (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) was credited with 16 receptions at a 38 positive percent. Burkland was 71 percent positive on 14 chances.

The U.S. won despite Russia having advantages in blocks (16-14) and aces (10-9). The Americans converted 37 percent of their attacks into points with a .245 hitting efficiency (52-18-139). Team USA limited Russia to a 29 kill percent and .130 hitting efficiency.

The U.S. Men’s Sitting Team swept Canada 25-11, 25-15, 25-21 in their series finale on Sunday, though Canada won a bonus fourth set 25-18. The Americans finished the series with a 4-1 record.

The U.S. had 12 different players score at least one point in the match. J Dee Marinko (Norman, Oklahoma) paced the Americans with eight points on five kills and three aces. Zach Upp (Bartlett, Illinois) followed with four kills on seven attacks, two blocks and an ace for seven points in starting the first two sets. Dan Regan (Edmond, Oklahoma) and Stephen Bracken each totaled six points in starting two sets.

Josh Smith paced the American reception with 14 chances and a 43 positive percent. James Stuck (New Kensington, Pennsylvania) was 83 percent positive on six receptions, while libero John Kremer (Buford, Georgia) maintained a 71 positive reception percent on seven chances.

Team USA out-blocked Canada 12-5 and held an 8-1 margin in aces. The U.S. converted 34 percent of its attacks into points with a .172 hitting efficiency. The American defense limited Canada to a 35 kill percent and a .073 hitting efficiency.