Katie Holloway attacking for the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team against Canada

DENVER (March 17, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team and Canada gave fans a lot extra to cheer about in their final exhibition match during Colorado Crossroads on Sunday in Denver.

After the U.S. had won the first four matches in straight sets (Canada won a bonus fourth set in three of the matches, Canada extended the top-ranked U.S. to a fifth match before the Americans prevailed 25-19, 23-25, 25-14, 22-25, 15-10.

U.S. Women’s Sitting Team Head Coach Bill Hamiter said the 5-0 weekend versus Canada was a successful weekend, even though the team learned some things it still needs to focus on to get better and ready for the 2020 Paralympic Games.

“Overall, our players gained a lot of good playing reps along with five wins,” Hamiter said. “We also discovered things we need to continue to work on. I would call that a pretty successful weekend.”

Katie Holloway propelled the Americans with a team-high 14 points as she scored nine kills on 19 swings, three aces and two blocks. She was credited with a 40 positive reception percent on 10 chances. Heather Erickson turned in 12 points with 10 kills on 28 swings and two blocks. She handled 15 receptions with a 60 positive percent.

Tia Edwards stood out in the match, even though she started just the first, fourth and fifth sets. She pounded out seven kills on 12 errorless attacks to go with three blocks and two aces for 12 points. Monique Burkland tallied 11 kills on 23 attacks in the victory, while having a team-best 16 receptions and having a 62 positive reception percent.

Nicky Nieves totaled nine points, including five aces and four kills. Kaleo Maclay contributed seven points with four kills and three blocks while running the offense as the starting setter in all but the second set. Lora Webster, who played just the second set, added four kills on eight attacks and a block for five points. Jillian Williams and Lexi Shifflett rounded out the scoring with a point each as both started one set in the match.

Canada held advantages in aces (15-14) and blocks (15-12), but the Americans had a 46-35 margin in kills and converted 40 percent of their attacks into points compared to the Canadians’ 30 percent.

Hamiter felt the team met its objectives heading into the weekend matches with Canada.

“We were able to meet many of the offensive goals we had for the matches,” Hamiter said of the five-match exhibition series. “We also tested numerous rotations and lineups. This will definitely help us in our future matches. We were able to put players in spots where they had to perform under pressure – and that included both our veterans as well as our newer players. I believe that will pay dividends for us in the future as well.”

U.S. Women’s Sitting Team versus Canada – Match #5
Points: Katie Holloway 14, Tia Edwards 12, Heather Erickson 12, Monique Burkland 11, Nicky Nieves 9, Kaleo Maclay 7, Lora Webster 5, Lexi Shifflett 1, Jillian Williams 1
Kills-Attacks: Monique Burkland 11-23, Heather Erickson 10-28, Katie Holloway 9-19, Tia Edwards 7, Lora Webster 4-8, Nicky Nieves 4-11, Jillian Williams 1-1
Blocks: Tia Edwards 3, Kaleo Maclay 3, Heather Erickson 2, Katie Holloway 2, Lora Webster 1
Aces: Nicky Nieves 5, Kaleo Maclay 4, Katie Holloway 3, Tia Edwards 2

USA-Canada Exhibition Series Results
Match 1: USA def. Canada 25-11, 25-19, 25-21 (Canada won bonus set 25-21)
Match 2: USA def. Canada 25-9, 25-14, 25-20 (Canada won bonus set 25-18)
Match 3: USA def. Canada 25-13, 25-23, 25-21 (USA won bonus set 25-14)
Match 4: USA def. Canada 25-15, 25-12, 25-9 (Canada won bonus set 25-23)
Match 5: USA def. Canada 25-19, 23-25, 25-14, 22-25, 15-10

on Aharoni