COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 1, 2022) – The U.S. Men’s and Women’s Sitting National Teams each began their 2022 competition schedule Friday by playing two matches apiece at the Dutch Tournament in Assen, Netherlands.

Women’s Sitting National Team: 2-0

USA def. Netherlands, 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-10) (PDF Stats)
USA def. Germany, 3-0 (25-21,25-18,25-11) (PDF Stats)

The reigning Paralympic gold medalists quickly returned to their winning ways, dispatching both the Netherlands and Germany in sweeps. During the opening match versus the Netherlands, the American service game dominated. The U.S. served up 27 aces during the match, 15 of which came from Tia Edwards. Monique Matthews and Jillian Williams each added four, and four others landed one ace. Over a third of the U.S.’ points in the match came directly from the service line.

The service pressure continued against Germany with 20 aces – 12 from Edwards – but the American attack found its rhythm more quickly.

“We came out much stronger in the second match,” Matthews, the team captain, said. “We felt more in-system.”

The U.S. posted positive reception and points percentages of 50 and 39, respectively, against Germany, and Whitney Dosty led all players with 11 kills. Matthews landed 10 attacks against the Dutch, pairing them with 15 receptions and a 73% positive mark.

Newcomer Gia Cruz played in both matches, making her U.S. Women’s Sitting National Team debut. She took a couple of serves against Germany.

“We’re pleased with our results from the day and used all of our players already,” U.S. Women’s Sitting National Team head coach Bill Hamiter said. “We have a mix of young and veteran athletes on this roster, so it’s a great opportunity for those young athletes to gain experience. We were a little up and down due to the lack of competition, but that’s to be expected. We’re working toward more consistent play each day.”

Zach Upp

Men’s Sitting National Team: 0-2

Kazakhstan def. USA, 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 21-16)
Brazil def. USA, 3-1 (25-17, 20-25, 25-11, 25-17)

Playing their first competitive matches in 13 months, the U.S. Men took sets off higher-ranked teams in return to competition. Ranked No. 10 in the world themselves, the Americans won the final five points of the first set against No. 9 Kazakhstan to take the frame, 23-25. The rally came on the serve of J Dee Marinko, and James Stuck clinched it with a block. The second set was just as close but with the scores reversed, and Kazakhstan took the final two frames to win the match.

Murtadha Hadi made his U.S. Men’s Sitting National Team debut against Kazakhstan. He scored four points: two kills and two blocks.

The U.S. ended the day with a showdown against No. 4 Brazil, and they again took a set off their zonal rivals. Brazil won the first by eight points, but in the second, the U.S. won the first four points and never trailed. Up 20-24, Zach Upp ended the frame with an ace. Brazil, the Pan American representative in last year’s Tokyo Paralympic Games, won the next two sets, claiming the match 3-1.

Upp scored a match-high 19 points against Brazil, 13 from the attack and four on the block. He also made 27 receptions while libero John Kremer posted a 73% excellent mark on 15 receptions.

“Systematically, the team is setting in,” Men’s Sitting National Team head coach Greg Walker said. “There were moments where we were doing well earning points on our side of the net. Defensively, we’re picking things up we weren’t able to stop last year.

“We’re looking at cleaning up some ball control, but it’s about what we can do to make the game a little better. Today I thought went well because we were able to put stretches together where we were more consistent.”

Both the men and women will play two matches again Saturday, July 2. The men face Germany at 2 a.m. Pacific and Great Britain at 6 a.m. Pacific, while the women play Brazil at 4 a.m. and Italy at 8 a.m. All matches of the Dutch Tournament will be streamed live on YouTube.

Women’s Schedule (all times Pacific)

July 1
USA def. Netherlands, 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-10) (PDF Stats)
USA def. Germany, 3-0 (25-21,25-18,25-11) (PDF Stats)

July 2
USA vs. Brazil, 4 a.m.
USA vs. Italy, 8 a.m.

July 3
USA vs. Great Britain, 12 a.m.
USA vs. Canada, 4 a.m.

Men’s Schedule (all times Pacific)

July 1
Kazakhstan def. USA, 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 21-16)
Brazil def. USA, 3-1 (25-17, 20-25, 25-11, 25-17)

July 2
USA vs. Germany,  2 a.m.
USA vs. Great Britain, 6 a.m.

July 3
USA vs. Netherlands, 2 a.m.
USA vs. TBA, 6 a.m.

Women’s Roster

Bethany Zummo (L, 5-3, Dublin, Calif.)
Lexi Shifflett (S/L, 5-4, Waseca, Minn.)
Maddy Ball (OH, 5-7, Delray Beach, Fla.)
Monique Matthews (MB/OH, 6-0, Ardmore, Okla.)
Whitney Dosty (OH/OPP, 6-3, Tucson, Ariz.)
Tia Edwards (OH/MB, 5-7, Skiatook, Okla.)
10 Sydney Satchell (L, 5-2, Oklahoma City, Okla.)
11 Jillian Williams (MB/OPP/OH, 5-10, Odem, Texas)
12 Emma Schieck (OH, 5-7, Statesville, N.C.)
13 Gia Cruz (S, 5-5, San Antonio Texas)
16 Nicky Nieves (MB/OH, 5-10, Kissimmee, Fla.)
18 Courtney Baker (OH, 5-9, Crofton, Ky.)

Head Coach: Bill Hamiter
Assistant Coach: Michelle Goodall
Athletic Trainer: Kat King
Performance Analyst: Jeffery Hicks
Team Leader: Bobby Moore

Men’s Roster

No Name (Position, Height, Hometown)
Dan Regan (OH, 6-0, Edmond, Okla.)
Nicholas Dadgostar (L, 6-0, Sydney, Neb.)
4 Ben Aman (OH, 6-5, Edmond, Okla.)
Eric Duda (S/OH, 6-5, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
James Stuck (S/OH, 6-5, New Kensington, Pa.)
10 Murtahda Hadi
11 Roderick Green (MB, 6-3, West Monroe, La.)
12 Patrick Young (OH, 6-4, Albuquerque, N.M.)
15 Chris Seilkop (OH, 6-6, Deland, Fla.)
17 Zach Upp (OH, 6-5, Bartlett, Ill.)
18 J Dee Marinko (OH, 6-4, Norman, Okla.)
21 John Kremer (L, 5-9, Buford, Ga.)
49 Sam Surowiec (6-2, Everett, Wash.)

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