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...
TOKYO (Sept. 1, 2021) – The U.S. Women’s Sitting National Team shook off Monday’s loss and swept the Russian Paralympic Committee team (25-19, 25-15, 25-22) on Wednesday in the final match of Paralympic pool play at the Makuhari Messe event hall.
The win puts the U.S. Women (2-1) into the Paralympic semifinals on Friday (Sept. 3) where they will play Brazil (3-0) at 6:30 p.m. in Tokyo (5:30 a.m. ET). China (3-0) will play Canada (2-1) in the other semifinal at 8:30 p.m. in Tokyo (7:30 a.m. ET). Matches are available live on the NBC Sports app and later on NBC Sports Network.
A loss to the RPC, the defending World Champion, would have scuttled the U.S. hopes of playing for a medal.
The U.S. Women looked like a much different team on Wednesday than the one that was swept by China on Monday. U.S. players in part credited a team meeting the players held on Tuesday.
“Losing is always hard, but it has always brought this team closer together,” U.S. setter Kaleo Kanahele Maclay said. “I’m really proud of how we have come together, even in the last day.”
U.S. Head Coach Bill Hamiter was impressed with how his team, the defending Paralympic gold medalist, handled the pressure of a must-win match.
“I don’t know if (the players) were feeling as much pressure as I was,” Hamiter said. “Every one of the Paralympic Games that I have coached, we’ve always had to win one of those matches to make it into the medal rounds. We’re used to it, but it’s one of those things where you always sweat it out.”
U.S. middle blocker Lora Webster credited the meeting for her team’s ability to fight back from deficits of 12-8 and 22-20 in the third set.
“In the third set, we came out behind, and we had to dig ourselves out of a hole,” she said. “There was no frantic energy. Everybody knew what we had to do. That just goes to show that what we worked on yesterday really shows up on the court.”
The U.S. Women led the RPC in kills (37-32), blocks (11-8) and aces (8-4).
Monique Matthews led all scorers with 15 points on a match-high 11 kills, two blocks and two aces. Lora Webster scored 13 points on a match-high five blocks, three aces and five kills. Heather Erickson finished with 11 points on seven kills, three aces and one block.
Maclay scored seven points on seven kills and set the U.S. Women to a .397 hitting efficiency. The RPC kill percentage was 270.
Katie Holloway finished with five points on four kills and one block. Jillian Williams totaled five points on three kills and two blocks.
Russia had one player in double figures, Iuliia Mednikova who finished with 12 points.
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) 1-2
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
USA def RPC, 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-22)
Friday, September 3 – Semifinals
USA vs Brazil, 5:30 a.m. ET (4:30 a.m. CT and 6:30 p.m. in Tokyo)
Canada vs China, 7:30 a.m. ET (6:30 a.m. CT and 8:30 p.m. in Tokyo)
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)