TOKYO (Sept. 3, 2021) – For a fourth straight Paralympic Games, the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team will play China for the gold medal. The U.S. Women beat Brazil on Friday, 3-0 (25-19, 25-11, 25-23) in the Paralympic semifinal at Makuhari Messe event hall. The U.S. (3-1) will play China (4-0) for the gold medal on...
TOKYO (Sept. 4, 2021) – Hello, China. We meet again.
The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team will play China for the ninth time in Paralympic Games history on Sunday at 10 a.m. in Japan (9 p.m. on Saturday ET). Watch the match live on the NBC Sports app or on the NBC Sports Network.
The U.S. Women’s Paralympic record against China is 1-7. The win came in the final of the 2016 Paralympic Games where the U.S. won its first gold medal.
The most recent loss came on Monday when China swept the U.S. Women in pool play.
That match was the first time in five years that the U.S. Women had played China and they didn’t have a lot of recent information about their Asian rivals. They have spent the ensuing days gathering more intel.
“There’s just more information now on China,” said two-time Paralympic setter Kaleo Maclay. “And we’ve gotten some of the rust off. If we come together, which I know we will, it will be a great game.”
The U.S. Women’s Paralympics got off to a rough start when it had to cancel a pre-Games training camp in Ichinomiya City and Esashi Town in Japan due to COVID exposure and also had to replace two key members of the team for health reasons.
It has used pool play matches and training sessions to try to return to peak form while also making it back to the final.
U.S. Head Coach Bill Hamiter is still looking for his team to play its best match of the tournament after it played inconsistently in its victory over Brazil in Friday’s semifinal.
“We’ve got to keep our composure a lot better,” he said. “We’ve got to keep the error rates low and continue to side out well. We have a couple of rotations we are struggling to get out of.”
China has been led in scoring by middle blocker Xuemei Tang, who has 46 points in 12 sets, and outside hitter Yixiao Xu with 43 points in 12 sets.
Opposite Heather Erickson and outside hitter Monique Matthews lead the U.S. in scoring. Each has 42 points in 12 sets.
“We just need to go out there and be confident and not be so worried about what (China is) doing,” Erickson said. “If we handle what we can handle, we are more than capable of winning.”
NOTES: In the women’s bronze-medal match on Saturday, Brazil beat Canada, 3-1 ( 25-15, 24-26, 26-24, 25-14)
In the men’s gold-medal match, Iran defeated the Russian Paralympic Committee team, 3-1 (25-21, 25-14, 19-25, 25-17). Bosnia Herzegovina took bronze, beating Brazil, 3-1 (23-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-11).
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 def Brazil, 3-0 (25-19, 25-11, 25-23)
China def Canada, 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-15)
Saturday, September 4 – Medal Matches
Bronze: Brazil def Canada, 3-1 (25-15, 24-26, 26-24, 25-14)
Gold: USA vs China, 9 p.m. ET (8 p.m. CT; 10 a.m. on Sept. 5 in Tokyo)