COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 16, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team is one victory from winning the World ParaVolley World Super 6 gold medal and going undefeated in 2019 following victories over host Japan and reigning world champion Russia on Saturday in Tokyo.
Team USA, now 24-0 in 2019 and ranked No. 1 in the world, will face Russia (4-2) again on Sunday at 2 p.m. local time (midnight ET) and can be watched live on the World ParaVolley Facebook page. The Americans defeated Russia twice in the double-round robin World Super 6, bringing their record to 7-0 against the European power this season.
In an ironic twist, the U.S. was denied an undefeated 2018 after losing to Russia in the final match of the season – the World ParaVolley World Championship gold-medal match. The Americans will look to avoid a repeat of 2018 when the two teams meet again for the 2019 World Super 6 title on Sunday.
Team USA is now 50-1 since the 2017 ParaVolley Pan Am Championships. Russia defeated the U.S. to claim the 2017 World ParaVolley World Super 6 title, and the Team USA has been nearly unbeatable since that setback.
USA def. Russia 25-15, 25-13, 25-17
Team USA capped the double-round-robin format with a convincing 25-15, 25-13, 25-17 victory over Russia. The U.S. swept all six of its pool play matches.
Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Washington) led the Americans with 12 points coming from 10 kills on 21 swings and two blocks. Monique Burkland (Ardmore, Oklahoma) tacked on six kills, three aces and three blocks for 12 points. Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, North Carolina) contributed nine kills on 15 swings, one block and one ace for 11 points.
Nicole Nieves (Kissimmee, Florida) pocketed nine points with five kills, two aces and two blocks. Tia Edwards (Skiatook, Oklahoma) connected for four kills on eight errorless attacks and two blocks for six points. Kaleo Kanahele Maclay (Honolulu, Hawaii) turned in a kill, block and ace for three points. Jillian Williams (Odem, Texas), Lexi Shifflett (Waseca, Minnesota) and Bethany Zummo (Dublin, California) notched one point each to round out the scoring.
Zummo handled a team-high 13 receptions. Burkland was 64 percent positive on 11 chances.
Team USA converted 44 percent of its attacks into points while holding a 37-19 advantage in kills. The Americans had a 12-11 edge in blocks and 7-6 margin in aces.
Russia gained a 7-4 lead early in set one with back-to-back aces, but the U.S. answered with a 6-0 run with Burkland kill, three Russia errors, an Edwards ace and Erickson block to take a 10-7 lead. Team USA pushed the lead to 13-8 with Burkland and Nieves downing kills after a Russia attack error. Erickson slammed two kills, Edwards and Holloway each had one and Kanahele Maclay served an ace in a 5-0 run that gave the Americans a 21-13 lead en route to a 25-15 victory.
Team USA jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second set capped by consecutive Burkland aces. Russia clawed back to within two at 8-6. Holloway hammered consecutive kills after a Nieves winner to extend the U.S. lead to 14-8. Holloway and Kanahele Maclay stuffed Russia on back-to-back points and Nieves followed with an ace for an 18-9 lead. The Americans finished the set with a 25-13 victory.
Burkland put up consecutive blocks after an Erickson kill to yield a 7-3 American lead in the third set. Team USA scored four straight to stake a 17-10 advantage. The U.S. lead reached double digits at 23-13 after an Erickson block and Burkland kill as part of a 3-0 run, then ended the match with a Shifflet ace at 25-17.
USA def. Japan 25-11, 25-11, 25-19
In its second meeting of the double-round-robin pool play, Team USA defeated Japan 25-11, 25-11, 25-19 to open the day’s competition. Every player except Zummo as the libero scored during the match, including four players with at least nine points. Team USA captured the win at 25-17 on a Shifflett kill.
Nieves scored a team-best 11 points with nine kills on 16 swings, one block and one ace. Burkland tallied 10 points with six kills on nine attacks and four blocks. Edwards totaled six kills on 18swings, two aces and a block for nine points. Erickson chipped in eight kills on 16 swings and a block for nine points in just the first two sets.
Nichole Millage (Champaign, Illinois) added six kills on 13 attacks and an ace for seven points. Annie Flood (Salem, Oregon) tallied two kills, one block and one ace for four points. Williams and Holloway totaled three points. Shifflett (Waseca, Minnesota) and Kanahele Maclay scored two points apiece. Emma Schieck (Statesville, North Carolina) rounded out the scoring with an ace.
Team USA held a 9-0 ace advantage and a 10-8 margin in blocks. With Shifflet and Kanahele Maclay handling the setting duties, the Americans converted 46 percent of their attacks with a .326 hitting efficiency (42-12-92). As a team, the U.S. had a 68 positive reception percent led by Zummo’s 82 percent on 11 chances.
Japan led 3-2 in the opening set only to have Team USA score six straight to take an 8-3 advantage. The Americans used a 11-2 run to stake a 20-8 advantage en route to 25-11 win. The U.S. scored four unanswered points, capped by a Schieck ace, to take a 15-7 lead in the second set. The Americans finished off the set at 25-11, scoring the final three points o the set. Team USA, without a major scoring run, grabbed a 17-8 advantage in the third set. Japan, trailing 22-12, went on a 7-1 run to close to 23-19 before the Americans ended the set at 25-19.