DENVER, Colo. (March 5, 2017) – While several members of the 2016 U.S. Women’s Sitting Team that won the Paralympic gold medal are still trying to figure out what they want to do next, outside hitter Monique Burkland (Ardmore, Okla.) has no such concerns.

“I’m back training full time and I’m looking forward to Tokyo,” she said following an exhibition match against Canada on Sunday at the Colorado Convention Center in conjunction with the Colorado Crossroads Qualifier.

“(This season) I want to keep improving on things that I know I need to improve on, like passing. Everybody can always improve. We just don’t want to get worse.”

Burkland was the leading scorer in Sunday’s match first against Canada, scoring 16 points on 12 kills, a team-high three blocks and one ace as the U.S. won, 25-15, 25-11, 25-23.

The two teams will play again at 4 p.m. on Sunday and against at 9 a.m. on Monday.

Burkland was the leading scorer in the United States’ gold medal match against China at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

When asked about her experience in Rio, Burkland was clearly there for the love of the game.

“It was a great experience just playing,” she said. “I just love to play, so any time I get to play it is a great experience.”

The gold-medal match, I felt like I did really well. Everything was just going,” Burkland added. “It was a good game to be on.”

U.S. Head Coach Bill Hamiter has been happy with Burkland’s improvement since she joined the team in 2010.

“Monique continues to get better and better as she plays,” Hamiter said. “Her ball-control especially (has improved). Her serve-receive and attacking are really good. She may see the court as well as any of our players.

“She brings a lot of balance to our offense, which puts a lot of pressure on other teams. I look to her now as one of those players we have to have on the court.”

Match I
U.S. Starters vs. Canada
Middle Blocker: Nicky Nieves and Tia Edwards
Outside Hitter: Monique Burkland and Heather Erickson
Setters: Kaleo Kanahele Maclay and Alexis Shifflett
Libero: Bethany Zummo

U.S. Statistics vs. Canada
Erickson 12, Burkland 12, Nieves 7, Maclay2, Edwards 2, Whitney Dosty 1, Kari Miller 1
Blocks: Burkland 3, Erickson 2, Nieves 1, Shifflett 1
Aces: Nieves 4, Shifflett 3, Erickson 1, Burkland 1, Kanahele 1

Match 2
U.S. Starters vs. Canada

Erickson, Burkland, Miller, Maclay, Nieves, Baker

U.S. Statistics vs. Canada
Erickson 10, Burkland 9, Nieves 7, Miller 2, Baker 2, Shifflett 1, Dosty 1, Edwards 1
Blocks: Erickson 3, Burkland 2, Dosty 2, NIeves 2
Aces: Shifflett 4, NIeves 4, Dosty 3, Erickson 2, Burkland 2, Miller 1, Maclay 1, Baker 1

U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team Roster for Colorado Crossroads Exhibition Matches
No. – Name (Position, Height, Hometown)
2 – Bethany Zummo (L, 5-2, Dublin, California)
3 – Alexis Shifflett (S, 5-4, Waseca, Minnesota)
6 – Heather Erickson (OH, 5-11, Fayetteville, North Carolina)
7 – Monique Burkland (OH, 5-9, Ardmore, Oklahoma)
8 – Whitney Dosty (OH, 6-3, Tucson, Arizona)
10 – Kari Miller (L, 5-6, Washington D.C.)
14 – Kaleo Kanahele Maclay (S, 5-6, Edmond, Oklahoma)
16 – Nicky Nieves (MB, 5-10, Kissimmee, Florida)
17 – Tia Edwards (OH, 5-7, Skitatook, Oklahoma)
18 – Courtney Baker (OPP, 5-8, Crofton, Kentucky)

Head Coach: Bill Hamiter
Assistant Coaches: Lazaro Beltran, Jon Aharoni
Technical Coordinator: Jeff Hicks
Team Leader: Michelle Goodall
Athletic Trainer: Patrick Lawrence