COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Feb. 1, 2017) – The U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team will compete again at the Colorado Crossroads Junior National Qualifier being held March 4-6, but this year the team members will have something different hanging around their necks when meeting fans.
After finishing the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games with silver medals and the 2004 Paralympic Games with bronze, Team USA won its first-ever Paralympic gold medal by defeating China 3-0 in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games title match. The Americans ended China’s gold-medal run in every Paralympic Games since women’s sitting volleyball was introduced in 2004.
The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team, ranked atop the World ParaVolley world rankings for the first time, will face ninth-ranked Canada in a five-match exhibition series during Colorado Crossroads at the Colorado Convention Center. The two teams will have matches at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. MT on both March 4 and March 5, while the series will conclude on March 6 with a 9 a.m. MT match.
The U.S. Women were selected the “Best Paralympic Team” at the Team USA Awards ceremony on Sept. 28. The squad finished 2016 with a 21-3 record, and its only official competition loss came to China in the Paralympic Games pool play. Team USA also won gold at both the 2016 World ParaVolley Intercontinental Cup held in China in March and the Dutch Tournament in July.
For the exhibition matches against Canada during the Colorado Crossroads, Team USA is expected to bring 11 of its 12 players who won gold at the 2016 Paralympic Games plus three players (Courtney Baker, Melissa Clement, Whitney Dosty) looking to gain valuable international experience.
Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, North Carolina), a three-time Paralympian, was named the most valuable player of the 2016 Paralympic Games. Lora Webster (Phoenix, Arizona), a four-time Paralympian, was selected as Best Blocker during the 2016 Paralympics. Other three-time Paralympians who will be competing against Canada are Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Washington), Kari Miller (Washington D.C.) and Nichole Millage (Champaign, Illinois).
U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team Roster for Colorado Crossroads Exhibition Matches
No. – Name (Position, Height, Hometown)
1 – Lora Webster (MB, 5-11, Phoenix, Arizona)
2 – Bethany Zummo (L, 5-2, Dublin, California)
3 – Alexis Shifflett (S, 5-4, Waseca, Minnesota)
4 – Melissa Clement (OH/MB, 5-11, Rogers, Arkansas)
5 – Katie Holloway (OH, 6-3, Lake Stevens, Washington)
6 – Heather Erickson (OH, 5-11, Fayetteville, North Carolina)
7 – Monique Burkland (OH, 5-9, Ardmore, Oklahoma)
8 – Whitney Dosty (OH, 6-3, Tucson, Arizona)
10 – Kari Miller (L, 5-6, Washington D.C.)
13 – Nichole Millage (OH, 5-7, Champaign, Illinois)
14 – Kaleo Kanahele Maclay (S, 5-6, Edmond, Oklahoma)
16 – Nicky Nieves (MB, 5-10, Kissimmee, Florida)
17 – Tia Edwards (OH, 5-7, Skitatook, Oklahoma)
18 – Courtney Baker (OPP, 5-8, Crofton, Kentucky)
Head Coach: Bill Hamiter
Assistant Coaches: Lazaro Beltran, Jon Aharoni
Technical Coordinator: Jeff Hicks
Team Leader: Michelle Goodall
Athletic Trainer: Patrick Lawrence