Women's sitting team at national anthem

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 1, 2021) – The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team takes another step in preparing to defend its Paralympic gold medal this weekend at the 2021 Golden Nations League tournament in Assen, Netherlands.

The U.S. Women, ranked No. 1 in the world, will play the sitting teams from Germany, Netherlands, Russia, Slovenia and Ukraine. Both the U.S. Women and Russia have qualified for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team is the defending champion of the Golden Nations League, which used to be called the Dutch Tournament.

“We just need to get matches in and work ourselves back into good competition form,” said U.S. Women’s Sitting Team Head Coach Bill Hamiter. “The athletes have done a good job training and staying prepared, but it’s not the same as getting out there and having to compete.”

In March of 2019, just prior to the COVID pandemic lockdown, the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team hosted both Brazil and Russia in Denver for a series of friendly matches. The U.S. went 2-0 against Brazil and 2-1 against Russia.

The loss to Russia stung as the European team had upset the U.S. Women for the gold medal at the 2018 Sitting Volleyball World Championship.

The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team, which is based at the University of Central Oklahoma, started having training camps again in February of 2021. In June, it hosted Canada’s women’s sitting team, also a Paralympic qualifier, and played a series of friendly matches, which the U.S. won.

Now the team is set for a rematch with Russia. But Hamiter is also using the tournament to determine the players who will go to Tokyo and also to get them ready.

“We have some players that we pretty much were say are in,” he said. “But there are some we are looking at by position. We have to determine how we will use them. This is our last time to evaluate before releasing our roster.”

The Paralympic Games are scheduled for Aug. 24-Sept. 5 in Tokyo. Due to the pandemic, the athletes’ activities at the Games will most likely be restricted to training, matches and downtime at the Village. Hamiter hopes the Golden Nations League tournament will have similar restrictions so his team can get used to them.

“It’s a little piece of the pie, but it gets them started so then know what it is going to be like,” he said. “There are a lot of little things that people don’t think about, but they are important pieces.”

Matches will be live streamed on the ParaVolley Europe Facebook page.

Match results will be updated on this page and also on the ParaVolley Europe web site.

U.S. Women’s National Sitting Team Roster for the Golden Nations League

No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown)
1 Lora Webster (Middle blocker, 5-11, Point Lookout, N.Y.)
2 Bethany Zummo (Libero, 5-3, Dublin, Calif.)
3 Lexi Shifflett (Setter, 5-4, Waseca, Minn.)
5 Katie Holloway (Outside Hitter, 6-3, Lake Stevens, Wash.)
6 Heather Erickson (Opposite, 5-11, Fayetteville, N.C.)
7 Monique Matthews (Middle Blocker/Outside Hitter, 6-0, Ardmore, Okla.)
9 Tia Edwards (Outside Hitter/Middle Blocker, 5-7, Skiatook, Okla.)
11 Jillian Williams (Middle Blocker/Opposite, 5-10, Odem, Texas)
12 Emma Schieck (Outside Hitter, 5-7, Statesville, N.C.)
13 Nichole Millage (Opposite, 5-7, Champaign, Ill.)
14 Kaleo Kanahele Maclay (Setter, 5-6, Edmond, Okla.)
16 Nicky Nieves (Middle Blocker/Outside Hitter, 5-10, Kissimmee, Fla.)

Head Coach: Bill Hamiter
Assistant Coach: Michelle Goodall
Assistant Coach: Jon Aharoni
Athletic Trainer: Kat King
Technical Coordinator: Joe Skinner
Team Manager: Mark Herrin

U.S. Schedule for the Golden Nations League (all times CT)
Friday, July 2nd at 2 a.m.: USA v Russia
Friday, July 2nd at 7 a.m.: USA v Slovenia
Saturday, July 3 at 4:30 a.m.: USA v Ukraine
Saturday, July 3 at 9:30 a.m. USA v Netherlands
Sunday, July 4 at 4:30 a.m. USA v Germany
Sunday, July 4 at 11:30 a.m. Medal Matches