COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 25, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s National Sitting Volleyball Team improved to 11-0 on the season with its third and fourth victories over Russia on Saturday in their five-match exhibition series being held in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Open National Championships at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Ohio.
The U.S. Men’s Sitting Volleyball split a pair of matches with Canada on Saturday, falling in five sets in the morning contest but sweeping the Canadians in the evening contest.
Both USA teams wrap up their five-match exhibition series on Sunday. The U.S. Men faces Canada at 9 a.m. ET, while the U.S. Women challenge Russia at 11 a.m.
The U.S. Women, ranked No. 1 in the world, needed to rally from two sets down in Saturday’s opening match to defending World ParaVolley world champions Russia before prevailing 22-25, 16-25, 25-23, 25-17, 15-9.
Monique Burkland (Ardmore, Oklahoma) powered down a match-best 25 points with 15 kills on 33 errorless attacks, six blocks and four aces on 15 serves. Lora Webster (Point Lookout, New York), Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Washington) and Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, North Carolina) all had 13 points in the victory. Webster had seven kills on 17 swings and six blocks. Holloway created six kills, four blocks and three aces. Erickson piled up 12 kills on 36 attacks and a block. Nicole Nieves (Kissimmee, Florida) was USA fifth player to reach double-figure scoring with nine kills on 19 attacks and an ace.
Burkland was credited with a 73 positive reception percent on a team-high 22 chances. Libero Sydney Satchel (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) provided 19 receptions and a 42 positive percent in starting two of the five sets.
The setting duo of Kaleo Maclay (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Lexi Shifflett (Waseca, Minnesota) paced the Americans to a 38 kill percent and .279 hitting efficiency (56-15-147). The Americans held the Russians to a 37 kill percent and .204 hitting efficiency (54-24-147).
Team USA doubled-up Russia 22-11 in blocks, while Russia dominated the serve-receive game with a 17-8 margin in aces.
Team USA had an easier time in Saturday’s afternoon contest in winning 25-15, 25-17, 25-15. Since the start of the 2018 season, the Americans are now 32-1 with their only loss coming at the hands of Russia in the World ParaVolleyball World Championship gold-medal match to end last year’s season.
Holloway paced the U.S. in the second set with 15 points coming off 12 kills on 24 attacks, two blocks and an ace. Erickson chipped in eight kills on 16 attacks, four blocks and an ace. Burkland reached double digits with seven kills, two aces and a block. Webster, who started just the final two sets, totaled six points.
Erickson and Satchel each had 14 receptions with a 43 positive reception percent. Shifflett, who started the first and third sets, and Maclay set the Americans to a 39 kill percent and .247 hitting efficiency (35-13-89). The U.S. defense stepped up to hold Russia to a cool 20 kill percent and negative .060 hitting efficiency (17-22-83).
Team USA held a 7-3 margin in aces and both teams recorded 14 blocks in the match.
The U.S. Men opened day by winning the first set with its normal starters, but Canada came back to win 19-25, 25-19, 19-25, 25-16, 16-14 as the Americans changed out five set starters in the final four sets to get younger players experience.
J Dee Marinko (Norman, Oklahoma), the only player to start all five sets, tallied four blocks, three kills and two aces for nine points. He was not available to play in the first two matches on Friday. Josh Smith (Riverside, California) tallied nine points with seven kills on 14 swings and two blocks. Dan Regan (Edmond, Oklahoma) followed with eight points including six kills, one block and one ace. Charlie Swearingen (Gulfport, Mississippi) and Ben Aman (Tacoma, Washington) both scored six points.
Libero Travis Ricks (San Diego) handled 14 receptions with a 64 positive percent, while Regan was credited with a 43 positive percent on 14 chances.
The U.S. out-blocked Canada 16-12 and held a slim 10-9 margin in aces. However, Canada’s offense produced a 45-31 edge in kills. The Americans were limited to a 31 kill percent and .002 hitting efficiency (31-29-100). The Canadians scored on 38 percent of their attacks with a .127 hitting efficiency.
In Saturday’s rematch, Team USA swept Canada 26-24, 25-22, 25-23 in a close three-set victory. The U.S. rallied from a 16-9 deficit in the opening set to win and came back from an 8-3 deficit in the third set to win. The teams played a bonus fourth set in which the Americans prevailed 28-26.
Roderick Green (West Monroe, Louisiana) led the Americans with 12 points, scoring six kills and six blocks while playing the regulation three sets. Zach Upp (Bartlett, Illinois) and Marinko reached double figure points. Upp had seven kills, two blocks and an ace. Marinko turned in eight kills on 17 swings and two aces.
Libero John Kremer (Buford, Georgia) was credited with an 80 positive reception percent on 20 chances. James Stuck (New Kensington, Pennsylvania) handled 16 receptions with an 81 positive percent.
The U.S. held a slim 8-5 margin in aces while Canada out-blocked the Americans 16-15. Team USA converted 32 percent of its attacks into points with a .119 hitting efficiency (38-24-118). While Canada had a better kill percent at 34 percent, it finished with a lower hitting efficiency at .094 (36-26-106).