TOKYO (Aug. 30, 2021) – The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team has not played China since 2017. The teams‘ reunion was not a happy one for Team USA.
The U.S. Women fell to China 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 26-24) on Monday at the Paralympic Games at Makuhari Messe event hall in Tokyo.
The loss makes Wednesday’s match against the Russian Paralympic Committee team (1-1) a must-win if the U.S. Women (1-1) hope to play for a medal. China improved to 2-0 with only Rwanda (0-2) left to play in the pool. Only the top two teams in the pool advance to the semifinals.
China was the No. 1 ranked team in the world until the U.S. Women beat the squad in the gold medal match at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and took over as No. 1. The two teams last played at the World Super Six tournament in 2017.
“We have not seen China in five years,” Team Captain Katie Holloway said. “China largely stays out of competition, which is very difficult for us. We like to pursue them, we like to play them, we like to know what they’re doing. This team is new, and we have not played China’s style. We have to be disciplined on defense. We have to serve-receive, and we have to serve tough at them. We have to be smart with our blocks.”
The U.S. Women did lead China in blocking (15-3). China led in kills (37-25) and aces (9-2). The U.S. kill percentage was 27.5 while China’s was 38.9. The U.S. was charged with 27 scoring errors while China had 21.
“We had spurts where I thought we played really well and some that we didn’t play well,” U.S. Head Coach Bill Hamiter said. “It seemed like every time we tried to make that push to tie it up, it was a struggle for us.”
The U.S. Women got balanced scoring from Monique Matthews with 11 points and Holloway and Heather Erickson who each had 10. Matthews had six kills and five blocks. Erickson had a team-high eight kills and two blocks and Holloway had a match-high eight blocks and three kills.
China got 19 points from Yixiao Xu.
Among other U.S. scorers, setter Kaleo Maclay scored five points on four kills and one ace. Middle hitter Jillian William scored four points and middle hitter Lora Webster had two.
The U.S. Women are very familiar with the team from the Russian Paralympic Committee. The two played each other twice at the Golden Nations League tournament in July in Assen, Netherlands. The U.S. won both matches, including the gold-medal match, 3-1.
NBC has also released the TV schedule for the Paralympic Games at NBCOlympics.com.
U.S. Paralympic Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown)
1 Lora Webster (MB, 5-11, Point Lookout, N.Y.)
2 Bethany Zummo (L, 5-3, Dublin, Calif.)
3 Lexi Shifflett (S/L, 5-4, Waseca, Minn.)
5 Katie Holloway (OH, 6-3, Lake Stevens, Wash.)
6 Heather Erickson (OPP, 5-11, Fayetteville, N.C.)
7 Monique Matthews (MB/OH, 6-0, Ardmore, Okla.)
8 Whitney Dosty (OH/OPP, 6-3, Tucson, Ariz.)
11 Jillian Williams (MB/OPP/OH, 5-10, Odem, Texas)
12 Emma Schieck (OH, 5-7, Statesville, N.C.)
13 Nichole Millage (OPP, 5-7, Champaign, Ill.)
14 Kaleo Kanahele Maclay (S, 5-6, Edmond, Okla.)
15 Annie Flood (S/OPP, 5-8, Salem, Ore.)
Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) 1-1
U.S. Women’s Sitting Team Paralympic Schedule
Saturday, August 28
USA def Rwanda, 3-0 (25-11, 25-9, 25-11)
Monday, August 30
China def USA, 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 26-24)
Wednesday, September 1
5:30 a.m. ET USA v RPC (4:30 a.m. CT; 6;30 p.m. in Tokyo)
Friday, September 3 – Semifinals
5:30 a.m. ET or 7:30 a.m. ET
Saturday, September 4 – Medal Matches
Bronze: 3:30 a.m. ET (2:30 a.m. CT; 4:30 p.m. in Tokyo)
Gold: 9 p.m. ET (8 p.m. CT; 10 a.m. on Sept. 5 in Tokyo)