COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 26, 2019) – The U.S. Men’s National Sitting Team closed out Parapan American Games pool play with a 25-22, 25-20, 27-25 victory over Canada on Monday in Lima, Peru.
The U.S. advances to the semifinals on Tuesday as the second seed after finishing with a 4-1 record in pool play. The medal round is set for Wednesday with the winner earning a bid to the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. Matches can be streamed live on the Lima 2019 app.
Team USA had balanced scoring against their border rival Canadians. JDee Marinko (Newcastle, Oklahoma) turned in six kills on 16 attacks, three aces and a block for 10 points. James Stuck (New Kensington, Pennsylvania) contributed five kills and five blocks for 10 points. Eric Duda totaled eight kills on 16 attacks, one block and one ace for 10 points.
Zach Upp (Bartlett, Illinois) chipped in nine kills on 16 attacks in the victory. Roderick Green (West Monroe, Louisiana) accounted for five kills, one block and one ace for seven points. Stephen Bracken (Brighton, Colorado) mixed in four kills and two blocks for six points in the victory.
John Kremer (Buford, Georgia) handled 24 receptions with an 83 positive reception percent to lead Team USA. Upp added 11 receptions with a 91 positive percent.
Team USA convert 42 percent of its attacks into points with a .261 hitting efficiency (37-14-88). The American defense limited the Canadians to a 38 kill percent and .167 hitting efficiency (30-17-78).
The U.S. held a 37-30 advantage in kills and both teams produced 10 blocks. Canada held a slim 6-5 margin in aces.
Team USA gained a 9-4 cushion in the opening set with Duda notching a kill and block around a Canadian error. The American lead reach eight points at 20-12 before the Canadians used a 6-1 spurt to close to 21-18. The U.S. won the first set 25-22 after Canada saved three set points.
The U.S. scored five unanswered points to grab a 5-1 lead in the second set. Canada battled back to within one on several occasions put could not level the set. The Americans scored three consecutive points on kills from Green and Bracken followed by a Bracken block to raise the margin to 20-16. Team USA scored the final two points of the set for a 25-20 victory, capped by a Stuck block.
Canada opened the third set with a 4-1 advantage only to have the lead erased at 5-all. The U.S. broke a 21-all tie with two straight and held two match points before Canada stormed back to tie the set. Duda and Bracken scored the final two points for a 27-25 victory on Team USA’s fourth match point opportunity.