Three female volleyball players iin red cheer with their arms in the air

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 10, 2023) – The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team punched its ticket to the Paris 2024 Paralympics Thursday night by defeating Canada 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 19-25, 25-21) at the ParaVolley Pan American Zonal Championship in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. They are the first U.S. team to qualify for the 2024 Games in any sport.

“You want to qualify as early as you can because you never know what’s going to happen down the road as far as injuries or anything else,” U.S. head coach Bill Hamiter said. “The earlier you can qualify, it gives you time to do some experimenting. That’s helpful to us.”

The match was the third in a best-of-five series between the U.S. and Canada to determine Paralympic qualification, and the U.S. won the first two matches earlier this week. The U.S. has won the last two Paralympic gold medals and is currently ranked No. 1 in the world. Canada is ranked No. 3. Although the Paralympic berth has now been awarded, the two teams will finish out the series on May 12-13 with exhibition matches.

Match Stats

In Thursday’s match, the U.S. was in control for most of set one despite a late run by Canada that shrunk a seven-point American lead to four. In set two, the teams played to a 15-15 tie before the U.S. reeled off five straight points on a Nicky Nieves’ serving run. The U.S. seemed to have the set in hand at 23-19, but Canada crawled back and tied it up on a massive hit from Canada’s Heidi Peters. But, two straight errors by Canadian hitters gave the set to the U.S., 25-23.

Set three was similar, except it was Canada who pulled away after the two teams were tied midway at 12. The U.S. was down by just two at 19-17, but Canada quickly scored five consecutive points to make it 24-17. With a final score of 25-19, Canada kept itself in the match.

“The satisfying thing is we really had to play at the top of our game,” Hamiter said. “Canada’s doing great. They made some switches tonight; we knew they would do something, but we didn’t know quite what. And it was working for them with some things, so we were trying to figure out what do we want to do to counteract some of that. It was a little bit of a chess match.”

Canada led for much of set four, up by three at 14-11. After a hitting error by Peters,  Monique Matthews went to the service line and the U.S. tied it at 14. A spectacular rally at 14-14 ended with a Heather Erickson kill for 15-14, and the U.S. never looked back.

“It feels amazing,” said Matthews about qualifying for Paris. “It takes a lot of pressure off us for the rest of this year so we can focus on different lineups and try different things. I’m just proud of both teams. Canada played amazing and they pushed us to our limit. I’m so happy we were able to come out on top this time.”

Erickson, Matthews and Tia Edwards all scored 12 points for the U.S. in a balanced attack. Erickson had eight kills, three blocks and an ace; Matthews scored 10 kills, one block and an ace; and Edwards had eight kills, two blocks and two aces.

Nieves scored seven on six kills and a block; Lexi Shifflett had two aces and two kills; and Kaleo Maclay had two kills, one block and an ace. Lora Webster added three points on two kills and an ace, and Whitney Dosty had two blocks and a kill.

The next two matches will be live streamed at

Schedule/Results (all times PT)
Tuesday, May 9
USA def. Canada, 3-2 (21-25 18-25, 25-16, 25-17, 15-12)

Wednesday, May 10
USA def. Canada, 3-1 (18-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-11)

Thursday, May 11
USA def. Canada, 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 19-25, 25-21)

Friday, May 12
3:30 p.m. vs. Canada

Saturday, May 13
3 p.m. vs. Canada


U.S. Women’s Sitting Team Roster
No. Name (Position, Ht., Hometown, Region)
Lora Webster (MB, 5-11, Point Lookout, N.Y., Garden Empire)
Lexi Shifflett-Patterson (S, 5-4, Waseca, Minn., North Country)
Maddy Ball (OH, 5-7, Delray Beach, Fla., Florida)
Heather Erickson (Opp, 6-0, Fayetteville, N.C., Carolina)
7C Monique Matthews (MB/OH, 6-0, Ardmore, Okla., Oklahoma)
Whitney Dosty (OH/OPP, 6-3, Tucson, Ariz., Arizona)
Tia Edwards (OH/MB, 5-7, Skiatook, Okla., Oklahoma)
10 Sydney Satchell (L, 5-2, Windsor, Conn., New England)
12 Emma Schieck (OH, 5-7, Statesville, N.C., Carolina)
14 Kaleo Kanahele Maclay (S, 5-6, Honolulu, Hawaii, Oklahoma)
16 Nicky Nieves (MB/OH, 5-10, Kissimmee, Fla., Florida)
18 Courtney Baker (OH, 5-9, Crofton, Ky., Pioneer)
22 MaKenzie Franklin (OH, 6-0, Red Wing, Minn., North Country)

Head Coach: Bill Hamiter
Assistant Coach: Michelle Goodall
Assistant Coach: Jeffery Hicks
Athletic Trainer: Kat King
Team Manager: Patrick Lawrence
Sport Psychologist: Adam O’Neil