Katie Holloway attacking against Russia as the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team won twice on Sunday to improve to 4-0 on the season

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 8, 2020) – The U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball National Team earned two four-set wins Sunday in exhibition matches played in Denver as part of the Colorado Crossroads Junior National Qualifier. In each case, Team USA was pushed by No. 3 Brazil and No. 6 Russia.

The U.S. is now 4-0 to start 2020 and stretched its win streak to 29 matches dating to the start of 2018. The Americans complete the Colorado Crossroads exhibition series on Monday against Russia at 10 a.m. MT. Team USA has now won 55 of its last 56 matches, the only setback coming to Russia in the 2018 World ParaVolley World Championship gold-medal match. Russia improved to 2-2 on the weekend by beating Brazil 23-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-12.

“I think our team is really driven by competition,” U.S. libero Bethany Zummo (Dublin, California) said. “We love challenges. We tend to come back from little ruts that we find ourselves in, and just kind of want ourselves right back out of it. I think we were really successful today. It is really, really fun to play with these challenges and to play against really great teams to make us the best team we can be.”

Zummo said the exhibition matches this weekend are key to the team’s overall success in the upcoming Paralympic Games where all three times are qualified to play this summer in Tokyo.

“It is just playing, getting practices and reps that we need,” Zummo said. “We play against ourselves all four years of the quad, and it is really great when we get the opportunity to play against other great teams.”

USA vs Russia

The U.S. overcame a slow start in Sunday’s opener to defeat Russia 23-25, 25-18, 25-13, 25-21. The Americans were facing the prospect of going to five sets when they trailed 14-9 in the fourth set, but answered with 16 of the final 23 points for the win.

For the third match in a row Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Washington) scored a match-high 15 points, highlighted by nine kills and six blocks. Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, North Carolina) pounded 11 kills with two blocks for 13 points. Lora Webster (Point Lookout, New York) and Monique Burkland Matthews (Ardmore, Oklahoma) added 11 points each. Burkland had nine kills while Webster had a match-high seven blocks.

Jillian Williams (Odem, Texas) added five kills on eight attacks in the victory. Liberos Sydney Satchell (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) and Zummo had 18 and 10 receptions respectively. Satchell was 44 percent positive on her receptions with Zummo at 40 percent positive.

The Americans out-blocked the Russians 19-16 in the victory and held a 41-30 advantage in kills. The U.S. converted 37 percent of its attacks to Russia’s 25 percent. Russia’s service game kept it in within reach with a 14-7 ace margin, but also served 12 errors.

The U.S. has now defeated Russia 10 consecutive times since the World Championship loss.

USA vs Brazil

The U.S. had balanced scoring in the second match on Sunday as five players reached double-digit scoring with Webster, Holloway and Williams all leading the way with 13 points. Webster had five blocks, four aces and four kills for her 13 points. Holloway produced 11 kills on 24 swings, one block and one ace. Williams contributed nine kills and two blocks.

Erickson pocketed 10 points with seven kills, two aces and a block. Burkland Matthews matched her 10 with eight kills on 23 errorless attacks, one block and one ace while having a 67 positive reception percent on a team-high 18 chances. Zummo as 64 percent positive on 11 receptions.

Team USA’s serve provided havoc for Brazil with a 13-4 ace advantage to offset the South Americans’ 17-15 edge in blocks. The Americans held a 44-36 margin in kills, though Brazil had a slightly higher kill percent at 34 to 32.

Stats USA vs Russia

Points: Katie Holloway 15, Heather Erickson 13, Lora Webster 11, Monique Burkland Matthews 11, Jillian Williams 9, Lexi Shifflett 4, Tia Edwards 2, Kaleo Kanahele Maclay 1, Nicky Nieves 1
Kills: Heather Erickson 11, Katie Holloway 9, Monique Burkland 9, Jillian Williams 5, Lora Webster 3, Tia Edwards 2, Kaleo Kanahele Maclay 1, Nicky Nieves 1
Blocks: Lora Webster 7, Katie Holloway 6, Heather Erickson 2, Monique Burkland Matthews 2, Lexi Shifflett 1, Jillian Williams 1
Aces: Lexi Shifflett 3, Jillian Williams 3, Lora Webster 1

Stats USA vs Brazil

Points: Lora Webster 13, Katie Holloway 13, Jillian Williams 13, Heather Erickson 10, Monique Burkland Matthews 10, Kaleo Kanahele Maclay 4, Nicky Nieves 4, Lexi Shifflett 2, Tia Edwards 2, Nichole Millage 1
Kills: Katie Holloway 11, Jillian Williams 9, Monique Burkland Matthews 8, Heather Erickson 7, Lora Webster 4, Nicky Nieves 2, Tia Edwards 2, Nichole Millage 1
Blocks: Lora Webster 5, Kaleo Kanahele Maclay 3, Jillian Williams 2, Nicky Nieves 2, Katie Holloway 1, Heather Erickson 1, Monique Burkland Matthews 1
Aces: Lora Webster 4, Lexi Shifflett 2, Heather Erickson 2, Jillian Williams 2, Katie Holloway 1, Monique Burkland 1, Kaleo Kanahele Maclay 1

U.S. Women’s National Sitting Team Roster for Crossroads Exhibitions
# – Name (Position, Height, Hometown)
1 – Lora Webster (Middle, 5-11, Point Lookout, N.Y.)
2 – Bethany Zummo (Libero, 5-3, Dublin, Calif.)
3 – Lexi Shifflett (Setter, 5-4, Waseca, Minn.)
4 – Maddy Ball (Outside Hitter, 5-7, Delray Beach, Fla.)
5 – Katie Holloway (Outside Hitter, 6-3, Lake Stevens, Wash.)
6 – Heather Erickson (Opposite, 5-11, Fayetteville, N.C.)
7 – Monique Burkland Matthews (Middle/Outside Hitter, 6-0, Ardmore, Okla.)
10 – Sydney Satchell (Libero, 5-2, Oklahoma City, Okla.)
11 – Jillian Williams (Middle/Opposite, 5-10, Odem, Texas)
13 – Nichole Millage (Opposite/Setter, 5-7, Champaign, Ill.)
14 – Kaleo Kanahele Maclay (Setter, 5-6, Honolulu, Hawaii)
15 – Annie Flood (S/OPP, 5-8, Salem, Ore.)
16 – Nicole Nieves (Middle/Outside Hitter, 5-10, Kissimmee, Fla.)
17 – Tia Edwards (Outside Hitter/Middle, 5-7, Skiatook, Okla.)

Head Coach: Bill Hamiter
Assistant Coach: Michelle Goodall
Assistant Coach: Jon Aharoni
Athletic Trainer: Patrick Young
Technical Coordinator: Jeffrey Hicks
Event Manager: Elliot Blake
Team Leader: Mark Herrin

Match Times (all times Mountain Times)

Saturday, March 7
USA def Russia 25-18, 25-16, 25-23 (USA wins bonus set 25-20)
Russia def. Brazil 25-19, 25-19, 25-18
USA def Brazil 25-14, 24-26, 25-16, 20-25, 15-4

Sunday, March 8
USA def Russia 23-25, 25-18, 25-13, 25-21
USA def Brazil 25-14, 25-19, 22-25, 25-21
Russia def Brazil 23-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-12

Monday, March 9
Russia vs Brazil, 8 a.m.
USA vs Russia, 10 a.m.