Zach upp

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 9, 2023) – The top two men’s sitting teams in the zone squared off Tuesday afternoon in the first match at the ParaVolley Pan America Zonal Championship, with No. 1 Brazil defeating the No. 2 U.S. Men 3-1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-19, 25-23).

The winner of the Zonal Championship qualifies for the 2024 Paralympics in Paris. Brazil is currently ranked third in the world while the U.S. is eighth.

Match Statistics

The U.S. Men got off to a slow start in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, never catching up in the first set before losing 20-25. They fell behind in set two as well, until hot-handed Zach Upp ripped off four straight aces to pull ahead late. The team held on for a 25-22 win.

“I think the best set up for us actually getting to play Brazil out of the gates,” head coach Greg Walker said. “There [were] a lot of ups and downs in the match, and we closed some big gaps there especially. If Brazil went up, we dug ourselves a hole and we could come back into it. It’s good confidence for the rest of the tournament, and [we’ll] be able to hopefully see them down the road in the finals. I think that’s pretty good.”

The next two games were also close, with Brazil winning 25-23 and 25-19, and both Walker and team captain Rod Green expressed optimism for the rest of the tournament.

“I think both sides came out sluggish, and we started the game slow,” Green said. “As the match progressed, you started seeing players do things that you’re normally used to seeing. It was close. It was very disappointing, but now what we have to do is run the table and see them in the finals.”

Upp led the team with 28 points on 17 kills, four blocks and seven aces. Eric Duda scored 12 on 11 kills and one block; James Stuck also collected 12 points on seven blocks, four kills and one ace. Green and Chris Seilkop both scored eight points and setter John Kremer scored once on an ace.

Walker saw positive signs and room for improvement.

“I think it’s good to see this high level now,” he said. “We can cut down on some unforced errors we had on our side of the net, communication errors.”

The U.S. Men play 11th-ranked Canada Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Pacific. All matches are being streamed live on YouTube.

U.S. Men’s Sitting Team Roster
No Name (Position, Height, Hometown, Region)
Travis Ricks (L, 5-7, San Diego, Calif., Southern California)
Dan Regan (OH, 6-0, St. Louis, Gateway)
Nicholas Dadgostar (L, 6-0, Sidney, Neb., Chesapeake)
Ben Aman (OH, 6-5, Edmond, Okla., Oklahoma)
Eric Duda (S/OH, 6-5, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Florida)
James Stuck (S/OH, 6-5, New Kensington, Pa., Keystone)
9 Dandy Wilson  (Opp/OH, Alexandria, Va., Old Dominion)
11 Roderick Green (MB, 6-3, West Monroe, La., Bayou)
12 Patrick Young (OH, 6-4, Albuquerque, N.M., Sun Country)
13 Robbie Gaupp (Opp/OH, Havre De Grace, Md., Chesapeake)
14 John Kremer (L, 5-9, Buford, Ga., Southern)
15 Chris Seilkop (OH, 6-6, Deland, Fla., Florida)
17 Zach Upp (OH, 6-5, Bartlett, Ill., Great Lakes)
49 Sam Surowiec (OH, 6-2, Everett, Wash., Evergreen)

Head Coach: Greg Walker
Assistant Coach: Joe Skinner
Assistant Coach: Julie Allen
Performance Analyst: Sydnie Mabry
Athletic Trainer: Brian Farr
Team Leader: Kyle Homeyer

U.S. Women’s Schedule (All times CT)
May 9 at 8 p.m. USA vs Canada
May 10 at 5:30 p.m. USA vs Canada
May 11 at 8 p.m. USA vs Canada
May 12 at 5:30 p.m. USA vs Canada (if necessary)
May 13 at 5 p.m. USA vs Canada (if necessary)

Men’s Schedule (All time CT)
May 9: Brazil def. USA 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 19-25, 23-25)
May 9 at 5:30 p.m. Canada vs Argentina
May 10 at 3 p.m. Brazil v Argentina
May 10 at 8 p.m. Canada vs USA
May 11 at 3 p.m. USA vs Argentina
May 11 at 5:30 p.m. Canada vs Brazil
May 12 at 3 p.m. Semifinal 1
May 12 at 8 p.m. Semifinal 2
May 13 at noon Bronze match
May 13 at 2:30 p.m. Gold match