2016 World ParaVolley Intercontinental Cup


  • U.S. Women’s Sitting Team Golden in China
    23rd March 2016. Karen Patterson

Kaleo Kanahele (Edmond, Oklahoma) and Bethany Zummo (Dublin, California) looked into the camera and exuberantly shouted, “We won!”

Just minutes before, the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team defeated host-nation China 25-22, 12-25, 25-20, 28-26 on Wednesday in the gold medal match at the World ParaVolley Intercontinental Cup, sending Zummo, Kanahele and their teammates into a joyous celebration.

“I’m so freaking excited,” Zummo said. “We earned it and it feels so good! We’ve worked so hard for this and it’s amazing.”

Related: U.S. Women’s Sitting Team Home | U.S. Men’s Sitting Team Home | World ParaVolley

In addition to the championship, outside hitter Heather Erickson(Fayetteville, North Carolina) received individual honors as the tournament’s Best Attacker and Most Valuable Player for her contributions in the championship run.

Erickson and Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Washington) led the Americans with 20 points each in the final match, recording 16 kills apiece. Holloway totaled four blocks, including match point, while Erickson added three blocks and one ace.

Despite her individual honors, the U.S. captain immediately credited her teammates for the outstanding performance at the tournament, particularly after a difficult five-set loss to China at the ParaVolley Sitting World Championships in 2014.

“There was a lot of maturing that we had to do and certain players rose up (this tournament),” Erickson said. “I mean, Bethany played her butt off, Lora (Webster) played her butt off and there were just certain things we needed to do to have a confidence boost. Everyone played lights out this week. It was awesome.”

The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team brings home an 8-0 record from the seven-day tournament, dropping just two sets – both to China. The U.S. defeated China 25-22, 18-25, 25-19, 25-17 during pool play on Friday.

Erickson gave the U.S. an early lead with a kill to score the match’s first point in the first set; the Americans stayed ahead of the Chinese throughout the set, leading by as many as five points.

The team’s defense faltered in the second set, allowing China to control the pace and quickly run up a double-digit lead. The U.S. reached back following the set loss and came out swinging to start the third, holding a lead for all but one rotation.

“I think (the second set) was good for us in that it kind of woke us up, and it helped us find where our shots were, Erickson said. “ China started dropping their block so Katie could just pound people. It actually was a blessing in disguise because it opened up a lot of stuff.”

“We started tipping, tip, tip, tip, tip, and I started going, ‘Tipping is good for an open shot, but it isn’t going to win,” Head Coach Bill Hamiter said of the second set. “Let’s get up there, get an open shot and fire. That helped us in both the first and third set.”

After struggling to find its footing early in the match, the American’s blocking and defense came alive in the later sets, working in tandem to produce winning rallies; the U.S. out-blocked the Chinese 17-5 in the match. Webster led with five blocks, adding two kills for seven points.

The match’s final set produced high drama as both teams protested referee calls and played scrappy defense to keep rallies alive. Team USA received a yellow card at 13-13 in the fourth set after Erickson vehemently protested for a net violation following a Chinese kill.

“I mean, we have to control ourselves a bit better with the officiating, but in a way it fired them up. Heather was just loading up bombs and letting them go,” Hamiter said.

Although the U.S. held a 23-21 advantage late in the set, China fired back with two kills and a block to take a 24-23 lead and push the Americans against the wall.

An Erickson kill tied the set, and the teams traded points on attack errors before Holloway ended the match on a double block with Nicky Nieves (Kissimmee, Florida).

“We have to give credit to China,” Zummo said. “They played well. They earned that second set, but we weren’t going to give it up.”

“I think we all felt it going in, but the excitement after was almost a relief,” Holloway said. “We knew we could do this, but we’re finally the team we knew we could be.”

The team now turns its attention to its second major goal of 2016: winning a Paralympic gold medal. While the Rio de Janeiro-hosted games are five months away, Erickson anticipates the team will be back in the gym ready to get back to work following a week-long recovery.

““The good thing is that we have stuff to work on, and it wasn’t a slaughter so we won’t go back to our training and be lackadaisical,” she added. “Everyone is going to be working to get better and we have just as much work to do to be ready to win that gold.”

U.S. Women’s Sitting Team Statistics vs. China
Starters: Lora Webster, Katie Holloway, Heather Erickson, Monique Burkland, Kaleo Kanahele, Nicky Nieves, Bethany Zummo
Points: Holloway 20, Erickson 20, Burkland 10, Webster 7, Kanahele 3, Michelle Schiffler 2, Nieves 2, Lexi Shifflett
Kills: Erickson 16, Holloway 16, Burkland 7, Webster 2, Nieves 1, Kanahele 1, Schiffler 1
Blocks: Webster 5, Holloway 4, Erickson 3, Burkland 3, Schiffler 1, Kanahele 1
Aces: Erickson 1, Kanahele 1, Nieves 1, Shifflett 1

The 2016 World ParaVolley Intercontinental tournament (March 17 to 23), which was a last-chance Paralympic qualifier for the Canadian men’s team, concluded today in Anji, Huzhou, China.

With only one berth available, Russia won the tournament and earned the spot in the 2016 Paralympic Games, after beating Ukraine in the final.

The Canadian men’s sitting volleyball team finished sixth overall (results below).

“We showed that we could compete with many of the top nations and our ball control was strong all tournament, but as one of the smallest teams at the event, we struggled to win battles at the net and side-out efficiently,” explained Ian Halliday, Volleyball Canada’s sitting volleyball high performance director. The men also struggled with some illness at the event, but will take a lot home with them from this experience.

“Ultimately, any opportunity that we have to come to an event and play these teams is extremely beneficial, and gives coaches and athletes the opportunity to see the other countries and not only compete against them, but learn from them as well.”

The Canadian women’s team – already qualified for Rio as a result of the Parapan Am Games – were in the “Qualified Pool” at the Intercontinental. Canada’s women also finished sixth in China.

“On the women’s side, our coaches really emphasized this event as part of the process as we continue to prepare for Rio. With four new athletes on this roster since the Parapan Am Games, this event was a great opportunity for them to see a high level of competition against teams that we will see again in Rio,” said Halliday.

“This whole event was about teaching and learning, and the team is really buying into the process and working hard towards being a competitive team at the Paralympic Games.”

Russia also earned the women’s berth available for teams playing in the unqualified pool.

Men’s Team Canadian Results
March 17 – CAN vs IRQ : 2-3 (25-21, 25-19, 19-25, 10-25, 11-15)
March 18 – CAN vs KAZ : 0-3 (21-25, 22-25, 13-25)
March 19 – CAN vs POL : 2-3 (18-25, 25-14, 25-20, 23-25, 11-15)
March 20 – CAN vs KOR : 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-15)
CAN vs JPN : 3-0 (25-12, 25-23, 25-16)
March 21 – CAN vs RUS  : 0-3 (15-25, 21-25, 9-25)
​                  CAN vs UKR  : 0-3 (20-25, 20-25, 25-27)
March 22 – CAN vs NED  : 1-3 (25-23, 22-25, 19-25, 18-25)

Women’s Team Canadian Results
March 17 – CAN vs BRA : 1-3 (22-25, 29-27, 15-25, 13-25)
March 18 – CAN vs RWA : 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-19)
March 19 – CAN vs IRI  : 0-3 (19-25, 23-25, 15-25)
March 20 – CAN vs CHN  : 0-3 (10-25, 19-25, 8-25)
​                  CAN vs USA : 0-3 (8-25, 9-25, 8-25)
March 21 – CAN vs UKR  : 0-3 (20-25, 19-25, 14-25)
March 22 – CAN vs IRI (5th/6th match) : 1-3 (25-20, 21-25, 19-25, 11-25)

Jolan Wong, Petawawa, ON
Chantal Beauchesne, Ottawa, ON
Heidi Peters, Edmonton, AB
Danielle Ellis, White Rock, BC
Jennifer Oakes, Calgary, AB
Leanne Muldrew, Winnipeg, MB
Katelyn Wright, Edmonton, AB
Shacarra Orr, Jaffray, BC
Felicia Voss-Shafiq, Suva, Fiji
Julie Kozun, Saskatoon, SK

Head Coach:  Nicole Ban
Assistant Coach:  Christine Smyth
Physiotherapist:  Lauren Vickery
Manager:  Ian Halliday

Doug Learoyd, Calgary, AB
Austin Hinchey, Edmonton, AB
Jamoi Anderson, North York,ON
Chris Bird, Brandon, MB
Andrew Tucker, Bronx, NY, USA
Larry Matthews, St. Albert, AB
Dariusz Symonowicz, Ottawa, ON
Jesse Buckingham, Toronto, ON
Jesse Ward, Calgary, AB

Head Coach:  Ray Sewell
Assistant Coach:  Paul Shearme
Physiotherapist:  Anne Fleming
Manager:  Ian Halliday
Volleyball Canada media contact:
Jackie Skender
E-mail: jskender@volleyball.ca
Phone: 613.794.7676

  • Iran [Women] Comes 5th at World Paravolley Intercontinental Cup
    23th March 2016. Tasnim News Agency
والیبال نشسته بانوان

Debutant Iran’s women sitting volleyball team finished in fifth place at the World Paravolley Intercontinental Cup in China.

Iran defeated Canada 3-1 (25-19, 19-25, 25-21, 25-11) in the event, which took place in Hangzhou City.

Iran lost to Ukraine, USA, China and Brazil and defeated Rwanda and Canada (twice).

Iran women sitting volleyball team will participate in the 2016 Paralympic Games for the first time.

In the men’s division, Iran has advanced to the final match and will face Brazil on Wednesday.


Rwanda Sitting Volleyball women team. (Courtesy)

China 3-0 Rwanda (25-4, 25-15, 25-9)

Rwanda national sitting volleyball team lost in straight sets to hosts China on Monday to wind up their journey on a low note as the World Intercontinental Paravolley Cup reaches the climax.

This year’s Intercontinental Para-volley Cup started on March 17 and ends today in Inji, Hangzhou City, China.

Hosts, world number one and favourites China effortlessly thrashed debutants Rwanda 25-4, 25-15 and 25-9 to add insult to injury for Peter Karreman’s side who had previously endured a series of five defeats at hands of United States, Canada, Brazil, Ukraine and Iran.

According to National Paralympic Committee (NPC) president Celestin Nzeyimana, the tournament benefitted the ladies with quality experience against the world’s best, which will help the team at the Paralympic Games slated for September 7-18 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

The bouncy road journey for Rwanda ended with a 1:18 set ratio at the week-long world class championship.

Rwanda lost a total 18 sets and won one (against Ukraine) set in six games played. The team will arrive in the country on Thursday (tomorrow) afternoon at 2pm.

  • https://twitter.com/ParaVolleyEU/status/712364717751328772
    22nd March 2016.

Full set of photos from in China  https://www.flickr.com/photos/world-paravolley

  • https://twitter.com/VolleySLIDE/status/712465417705496576
    22nd March 2016

The 8 women’s teams for are known after RUS beats NED at 3-0 (30-28, 25-22, 25-10)

Men’s national sitting volleyball team of Iran have routed Chinese rivals to reach finals of 2016 World ParaVolley Intercontinental.

Playing at the semi-finals of 2016 Intercontinental tournament underway in China, national Para volleyball players of Iran prevailed over the host country in three successive sets 25-20, 25-12 and 25-14 en route to the final encounter.

In the other semifinal match, the Brazilian team won against Egypt to set up a date with Iranian players in the final of the event which will convene on Wednesday afternoon in the local time.

Meanwhile, Egypt and China will compete over third and fourth rankings.

  • [USA] Women’s Sitting Team to Face China for Gold
    22nd March 2016. Karen Patterson

After months of preparation, the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team got the match-up it hoped for.

The Americans play China for the Intercontinental Cup gold medal at 1 p.m. on Wednesday in China (1 a.m. ET) after defeating Brazil 25-10, 25-14, 25-20 in Tuesday’s semifinals. Fans can watch a live-stream at http://www.kktv1.com/10025.

On Friday, the U.S. Women defeated China, 25-22, 18-25, 25-19, 25-17, hoping for a second opportunity to play their long-time rival.

“We have a really good camaraderie with them, and both teams look at it that we’ll compete as hard as we can,” U.S. Women’s Sitting Team Head Coach Bill Hamiter said. “We celebrate the best of friendships and both programs have supported each other.”

The U.S. Men’s Sitting team fell to Germany 25-16, 25-13, 25-18 in the consolation playoff bracket, ending the tournament with an 0-6 record.


Tuesday’s U.S. Women’s Sitting Team victory came barely 24 hours after the U.S. defeated Brazil, 25-21, 25-15, 25-18, in the final pool play match. Middle blocker Nicky Nieves (Kissimmee, Florida) said the Americans weren’t fazed at the rematch; rather, the team welcomed it.

“Brazil is a team that’s going to get us up on our emotions and make us fight a bit more,” Nieves said. “I’m glad we had this match because I think it really helped us get ready for China.”


The U.S. controlled the pace of the match behind strong defense and aggressive plays at the net; the team out-blocked Brazil 15-10, recording 27 kills to Brazil’s 18.

“Yesterday, I thought I was taking away enough cross against (their hitters), but I wasn’t; so today it was great to be able to make those little corrections so quick after playing them,” Nieves said.

Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Washington) and Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, North Carolina) led the American attack with 15 and 13 points, respectively. Erickson had a team-high nine kills, three aces and one block, while Holloway dominated the net with seven blocks, six kills and two aces.

The Americans also benefited from consistent serving, recording three service runs of at least five points. Monique Burkland (Ardmore, Oklahoma) and Nieves helped Team USA outscore Brazil 16-2 in the second set with long runs of nine and seven points, respectively.

“Across the board, I couldn’t stay there was a player who didn’t play well. Last night we had a few players I needed to make adjustments with, but tonight everyone really played well,” Hamiter said.

U.S. Men’s Sitting Team Head Coach Greg Walker said despite the disappointing record, he and the coaching staff feel positive about the team’s chances to grow and learn from matches against some of the top teams in the world.

“Every other team played their starting lineups and best players, and now we have all the information on them as we’re making that final push for Rio,” Walker said. “Everyone is going to get better, but our ceiling is so high right now.”

The U.S. again stayed competitive early in sets against Germany, but struggled to keep building momentum as each set wore on. The team also had trouble against Germany’s offense, recording just three blocks in the match.

James Stuck (New Kensington, Pennsylvania) led the team with nine points (seven kills, one block, one ace), while Eric Duda (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) added six points on as many kills.

As team captain, Duda said he was pleased to see the team continue to support each other, even as matches produced disappointing results.

“Like a couple of my teammates have said, this is one of the best cohesive groups we’ve had in a very, very long time,” Duda explained. “Unfortunately the outcomes didn’t match (what we wanted), but the fact that we stuck together throughout this whole thing, it bodes well for the future.”

U.S. Women’s Sitting Team Statistics vs. Brazil
Starters: Lora Webster, Katie Holloway, Heather Erickson, Monique Burkland, Kaleo Kanahele, Nicky Nieves, Bethany Zummo
Points: Holloway 15, Erickson 13, Burkland 9, Webster 7, Nieves 5, Kanahele 2, Michelle Schiffler 1
Kills: Erickson 9, Holloway 6, Burkland 4, Nieves 4, Webster 3, Kanahele 1
Blocks: Holloway 7, Webster 4, Burkland 2, Erickson 1, Schiffler 1
Aces: Erickson 3, Burkland 3, Holloway 2, Nieves 1, Kanahele 1

U.S. Men’s Sitting Team Statistics vs. Germany
Starter: Dan Regan, Eric Duda, James Stuck, Roderick Green, Charlie Swearingen, Chris Sielkop, John Kremer
Points: Stuck 9, Duda 6, Ben Aman 4, Regan 3, Seilkop 3, Josh Smith 1, Green 1
Kills: Stuck 7, Duda 6, Aman 4, Regan 2, Kremer 2, Green 1
Blocks: Stuck 1, Seilkop 1, Smith 1
Aces: Regan 1, Stuck 1

  • [IRAN] Women para volleyballers finish 5th at 2016 Intercontinental
    22nd March 2016. Mehr News Agency

Iranian women sitting volleyball players trounced Canada to finish as the 5th ranked in the 2016 World ParaVolley Intercontinental.

Men’s national sitting volleyball team of Iran obtained a second win over the Canadian team 3-1 (25-20, 19-25, 25-21 and 25-11) earning fifth place standings overall at the tournament.

Previously in the group stage of the event, the Iranian outfit had competed against Paralympian teams like Ukraine, America, Brazil, Canada, Rwanda as well as Chine while they had only managed to overcome Canadian and Rwandan rivals.

World ParaVolley President Barry Couzner has honored Iranian women’s presence in the tournament as well as the progress they have made in recent years particularly in the years leading to the Paralympic Games.

Barry further expressed satisfaction towards the development of the sports field for Iranian women.

Men’s national sitting volleyball team of Iran overcame Germany to remain atop group stage standings with five successive wins at 2016 World ParaVolley Intercontinental.

National sitting volleyballers breezed past Germany 3-1 on Monday to mark their fifth consecutive win at the group stage of the 2016 Intercontinental.

The Iranian squad has cruised through the group stage subduing China, Brazil, Egypt, the US as well as Germany and will play a match against China on road to the finals of the tournament.

Meanwhile, Iranian women sitting volleyball players conceded a 3-0 defeat against host rivals in their sixth encounter and will face Canada on Tuesday in an attempt to finish fifth in the event

  • [RWANDA] Sitting V-ball team lose 5 in a row at Intercontinental Cup
    21st March 2016. Richard Bishumba


China vs Rwanda


Iran 3-0 Rwanda (25-9, 25-18, 25-13)


Ukraine 3-1 Rwanda (22-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-12)


Canada 3-0 Rwanda (25-20, 25-14, 25-19)
Brazil 3-0 Rwanda (25-10, 25-10, 25-11)

Debutants Rwanda women sitting volleyball team have received a rude awakening after losing five consecutive matches at the ongoing World Paravolley Intercontinental Cup in China.

This year’s edition of the quadrennial Intercontinental Cup started on March 17 and will run through to March 23 in Anji, Hangzhou city. Rwanda was scheduled to play their final group match against hosts China last night, at 3am (CAT).

Rwanda’s 5th loss came on Sunday morning, losing in straight sets 25, 25-18 and 25-13 to Iran. They had previously lost in four sets (3-1) to Ukraine on Saturday, a day after in straight sets defeat at hands of Canada and Brazil.

Peter Karreman’s team qualified for the tournament and Paralympic Games last July after beating Egypt in the final of African Paravolley Championships staged in Kigali. The men’s ticket was claimed by Egypt after seeing off Rwanda in the final.

At the Intercontinental Cup, Rwanda was drawn against USA, China, Brazil, Canada, Iran and Ukraine, a group that has only team that have already qualified for Paralympic Games slated for September 7-18 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

  • U.S. Women’s Sitting Team Sweeps Pool Play
    21st March 2016. Karen Patterson

The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team landed in China with a list of multiple goal, including a win against longtime rival China, winning the pool of Paralympic-qualified teams and bringing home a gold medal from the World ParaVolley Intercontinental Cup.

The team moved one step closer to accomplishing all its goals on Sunday following a 25-21, 25-15, 25-18 victory against Brazil. The Americans went 5-0 in pool play, dropping only one set to the Chinese during a 3-1 win on Friday.

The U.S. Men’s Sitting Team fell 25-15, 25-20, 25-17 to Brazil shortly before the women’s teams played.

Related: U.S. Women’s Sitting Team Home | U.S. Men’s Sitting Team Home | World ParaVolley

The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team controlled the pace through much of the match, building large leads in each set. However, the team struggled in serve receive, allowing Brazil to creep back in each set.

“Sometimes you just have to struggle through it to get a win,” Head Coach Bill Hamiter said.

The Brazilians jumped out to an early lead in the third set. However, a nine-point service run by setter Kaleo Kanahele (Edmond, Oklahoma) gave the Americans an advantage they never relinquished. Kanahele totaled six points, five of which came from service aces.

Outside hitter Nichole Millage (Champaign, Illinois) recorded both of her two kills to end long rallies in the third set, breaking an 11-11 tie to put Team USA ahead for good.


Starters Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, North Carolina), Monique Burkland (Ardmore, Oklahoma) and Nicky Nieves(Kissimmee, Florida) led the U.S. in scoring with nine points each. Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Washington) added six points each.

While the Americans handily won their pool, China, Ukraine and Brazil ended in a three-way tie for second place with 4-2 records. China took second place on the strength of its set record. Based on the point differential tie-break, Ukraine edged Brazil for the No. 3 seed.

The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team rematches with Brazil at 4 p.m. in China (4 a.m. ET) on Tuesday in the playoff semifinals.

“I have complete confidence that we’ll be fine to play them two days in a row,” Millage said. “So long as we minimize our errors, it should be okay.”

The U.S. Men’s Sitting Team faces Germany in the consolation playoff bracket at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday morning in China (10:30 p.m. ET) after finishing 0-5 in pool play.

Head Coach Greg Walker said the team has focused on approaching each set as a series of mini-games based on the technical timeouts. The team played more competitively in each of the first “mini-games” against Brazil, trading shot for shot with the Paralympic Games host nation.

The Americans also controlled the tempo from the service line, missing two serves against four aces.

Walker used substitutions in each set to keep momentum strong, utilizing Travis Ricks (San Diego, California) and Hugo Storer (Greensboro, North Carolina) on defense to give the Americans a boost.

Ben Aman (Tacoma, Washington) and Josh Smith (Riverside, California) also saw significant playing time in the match, playing both the second and third sets. Aman capitalized on the opportunity, tallying five kills and two blocks for seven points, while Smith scored six points (four blocks, two kills).

Roderick Green (West Monroe, Louisiana) led Team USA with 10 points (seven kills, two aces, one block).

In an effort to give the Americans favorable defensive match-ups at the net, Walker moved Green, Aman and other attackers to new positions along the net, which provided a learning experience, Aman said.

“It was sort of working, but we’re just figuring out new things,” Aman said. “We all just have to go out there and swing smart. It’s not going to be an individual who gets it done. It has to come from the team.”

U.S. Women’s Sitting Team Statistics vs. Brazil
Starters: Lora Webster, Katie Holloway, Heather Erickson, Monique Burkland, Kaleo Kanahele, Nicky Nieves, Bethany Zummo
Points: Erickson 9, Burkland 9, Nieves 9, Holloway 6, Kanahele 6, Webster 4, Nichole Millage 2
Kills: Erickson 8, Burkland 8, Nieves 4, Holloway 3, Millage 2, Webster 2, Kanahele 1
Blocks: Holloway 3, Nieves 3, Erickson 1
Aces: Kanahele 5, Nieves 2, Burkland 1

U.S. Men’s Sitting Team Statistics vs. Brazil
Starter: Dan Regan, Eric Duda, James Stuck, Roderick Green, Charlie Swearingen, Chris Sielkop, John Kremer
Points: Green 10, Ben Aman, 7, Josh Smith 6, Regan 6, Stuck 5, Duda 3, Swearingen 3
Kills: Green 7, Regan 6, Aman 5, Stuck 5, Duda 2, Smith 2, Swearingen 1
Blocks: Smith 4, Aman 2, Green 1, Swearingen 1
Aces: Green 2, Duda 1, Swearingen 1

U.S. Women’s Sitting Team Roster for the Intercontinental Cup (March 17-23)
# – Name (Position, Hometown, Height)

1 – Lora Webster (MB, Phoenix, Arizona, 5-11)
2 – Bethany Zummo (L, Dublin, California, 5-2)
3 – Alexis Shifflet (S, Waseca, Minnesota, 5-4)
4 – Michelle Schiffler (MB, Lake Wales, Florida, 6-0)
5 – Katie Holloway (OH, Lake Stevens, Washington, 6-3)
6 – Heather Erickson (OH, Fayetteville, North Carolina, 5-11)
7 – Monique Burkland (MB, Ardmore, Oklahoma, 5-9)
10 – Kari Miller (OPP/DS, Washington D.C., 5-6)
13 – Nichole Millage (OH, Champaign, Illinois, 5-7)
14 – Kaleo Kanahele (S, Edmond, Oklahoma, 5-6)
16 – Nicky Nieves (OH, Kissimmee, Florida, 5-10)
17 – Tia Edwards (OH/MB, Skiatook, Oklahoma, 5-7)

Head Coach: Bill Hamiter
Assistant Coach: Cara Lang
Assistant Coach: Lazaro Beltran
Team Manager: Dr. Laura Finch
Technical Coordinator: Jeff Hicks
Athletic Trainer: Patrick Lawrence

U.S. Intercontinental Cup Women’s Sitting Team Schedule
March 17:
 USA def Rwanda, 25-9, 25-10, 25-7
March 18: USA def China, 25-22, 18-25, 25-19, 25-17
March 18: USA def Iran, 25-18, 25-13, 25-18
March 19: USA def. Ukraine 25-13, 25-21, 27-25
March 20: USA def. Canada 25-8, 25-9, 25-8
March 21: USA def. Brazil 25-21, 25-15, 25-18

U.S. Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team Roster for the Intercontinental Cup (March 17-23)
# – Name (Position, Hometown, Height)
1 – Travis Ricks (DS, San Diego, California, 5-7)
2 – Daniel Regan (MB, St. Louis, Missouri, 6-0)
3 – Sam Surowiec (OH, Kirkland, Washington, 6-2)
4 – Ben Aman (OH, Tacoma, Washington, 6-5)
5 – Eric Duda (OH, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 6-5)
8 – James Stuck (S, New Kensington, Pennsylvania, 6-5)
9 – Hugo Storer (L, Greensboro, North Carolina, 6-0)
11 – Roderick Green (MB, West Monroe, Louisiana, 6-3)
13 – Charlie Swearingen (MB, Gulfport, Mississippi, 6-3)
14 – John Kremer (L, Buford, Georgia, 5-9)
15 – Chris Seilkop (OH, DeLand, Fla., 6-6)
16 – Josh Smith (MB/OPP, Riverside, California, 6-2)

Head Coach: Greg Walker
Assistant Coach: Joe Skinner
Assistant Coach: Mike Hobson
Team Manager: Dixie Collins
Technical Coordinator: Elliot Blake
Athletic Trainer: Katherine King

U.S. Intercontinental Cup Men’s Sitting Team Schedule (times listed as Chinese Standard Time)
March 17: China def USA, 22-25, 25-19, 25-12, 25-18
March 18: Germany def USA, 25-14, 25-9, 25-21
March 19: Iran def USA, 25-10, 25-17, 30-28
March 20Egypt def. USA 25-13, 25-22, 25-18
March 21: Brazil def. USA 25-15, 25-20, 25-17

  • [USA] Women’s Sitting Team Maintains Perfect Record
    20th March 2016. Karen Patterson

A resounding 25-8, 25-9, 25-8 win against Canada on Sunday clinched the No. 1 playoff seed for the the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team.

Meanwhile, U.S. Men’s Sitting Team played what setter James Stuck (New Kensington, Pennsylvania) called its most complete match yet. However, the Americans fell 25-13, 25-22, 25-18 to Egypt at the World ParaVolley Intercontinental Cup in Anji, China.

The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team excelled in all facets while defeating its neighbors to the north. Led by Katie Holloway’s (Lake Stevens, Washington) 12 points (10 kills, two aces), Team USA recorded a 92 percent efficiency on serve receive with a .700 hitting efficiency for the match.

Lora Webster (Phoenix, Arizona) added nine points on six kills and a team-high three blocks, while team captain Heather Erickson(Fayetteville, North Carolina) scored seven points (six kills, one block).


“(Canada) was getting some perfect passes and good sets, but we were defending it, digging balls up and running some plays where we were getting open looks at the net,” Head Coach Bill Hamiter said.

Setter Kaleo Kanahele (Edmond, Oklahoma) opened the match with a 10-point serving run, dishing up two aces during the run. Kanahele finished with a team-high five aces. The U.S. totaled 11 aces to Canada’s one.

The Americans also committed just 12 errors to Canada’s 25, limiting their opponents’ opportunities to build momentum.


Setter Lexi Shifflet (Waseca, Minnesota) said Sunday’s win may be key as the team faces Brazil in its final pool play match (12 a.m. Monday ET). The Americans have a 5-0 pool play record among the Rio de Janeiro Paralympic-qualified teams, while Brazil stands at 4-1 following a loss to Ukraine. Through Sunday, the U.S. holds a 15-1 set advantage to Brazil’s 12-6 set record. While the U.S. is guaranteed the No. 1 seed, Shifflet emphasized the importance of not overlooking the Brazilians.

“I know I’m a little nervous after watching the China-Brazil match (Brazil won 3-2), but I’m confident we’re going to beat them,” she added. “But at the same time, if we can get too low, and they can get that high, things could turn around and change for us.”

The U.S. Men’s Sitting Team also will face Brazil on Monday (9 p.m. Sunday ET). Stuck said he hopes to see the team come out swinging hard against Brazil (3-1), which currently sits in second place behind Iran (4-0).

“They’re a very tough team to play against because they’re very emotional,” Stuck added. “We want to use that emotion to our advantage. If we can catch them back on their heels a little bit, we can hopefully take advantage.”

Stuck (six points: three blocks, one kill, one ace) and Roderick Green (West Monroe, Louisiana) (nine points: six kills, three aces) led Team USA against the Egyptians. Head Coach Greg Walker said he was particularly pleased with the team’s performance at the net, limiting Egypt to just a .227 hitting efficiency in the match.

“We put better blockers in front to try and slow (the play) down, and that waters down their opportunities,” Walker said. “From (the attack) side, we were able to manage things.”

The U.S. Men were close to Egypt in blocks, with Egypt leading 9-8. But the African side dominated in kills (29-17) and aces (10-3).

After struggling with serve receive in the first set, the U.S. overtook Egypt at 12-11. Strong serving and scrappy play at the net kept Team USA ahead; however, the Egyptians answered with consistent serving of their own to reclaim the lead for good at 19-18. Not allowing multiple service runs will be critical moving forward, Stuck said.

“That’s the biggest thing we’ve been battling so far this tournament,” he explained. “We’re allowing at least two strings of four-plus points in each set, and that’s just too much if we want to win.”

U.S. Women’s Sitting Team Statistics vs. Ukraine
Starters: Lora Webster, Katie Holloway, Heather Erickson, Monique Burkland, Kaleo Kanahele, Michelle Schiffler, Bethany Zummo
Points: Holloway 12, Webster 9, Erickson 7, Burkland 6, Kanahele 5, Schiffler 4, Nicky Nieves 2, Lexi Shifflet 2, Nichole Millage 1
Kills: Holloway 10, Erickson 6, Webster 6, Schiffler 4, Burkland 3, Millage 1
Blocks: Webster 3, Holloway 2, Erickson 1, Burkland 1
Aces: Kanahele 5, Burkland 2, Nieves 2, Shifflet 2

U.S. Men’s Sitting Team Statistics vs. Egypt
Starter: Dan Regan, Eric Duda, James Stuck, Roderick Green, Charlie Swearingen, Chris Sielkop, John Kremer
Points: Green 9, Stuck 6, Eric Duda 5, Seilkop 4, Regan 3, Josh Smith 1
Kills: Green 6, Duda 4, Seilkop 3, Regan 2, Stuck 1, Smith 1
Blocks: Green 3, Stuck 3, Duda 1, Regan 1
Aces: Stuck 2, Seilkop 1

  • Prima storica vittoria delle azzurre: 3-1 all’Egitto
    20th March 2016. iVolley

Finalmente la prima storica vittoria della Squadra Nazionale Femminile di Sitting Volley è arrivata oggi a Anji (Cina) nel torneo di qualificazione per le Paralimpiadi di Rio 2016. L’Italia ha infatti battuto l’Egitto 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-15, 25/21) al termine di una bella prova, nella quale le ragazze del Ct Guido Pasciari hanno mostrato tutte le proprie qualità. Grande la felicità in casa azzurra come si evince dalle parole di Michela Magnani di Parma: “Questa vittoria ci ha esaltato, ci siamo fatte valere ed i sacrifici degli ultimi 11 mesi di attività, bellissimi e sudati sono stati ricompensati. Le egiziane ci hanno messo a dura prova e per questo il successo è ancora più meritato. Finalmente c’è anche il sapore della vittoria per la nuova disciplina federale del Sitting Volley”. Dello stesso tenore le dichiarazione di Guido Pasciari: “Un vivo ringraziamento va a tutti i media che in questo ultimo periodo ci hanno seguito, avvicinando al sitting un gran numero di sportivi che così hanno scoperto il Sitting Volley. Questa bellissima vittoria ha messo in evidenza tutte le qualità delle ragazze che si sono guadagnate il giusto riconoscimento per tutto il lavoro svolto.”

  • [IRAN] National sitting volleyballers rout Brazil
    20th March 2016. MEHR news agency
تیم ملی والیبال نشسته ایران

Iranian Men’s national sitting volleyball team won against Brazil in the fourth encounter of 2016 World ParaVolley Intercontinental.

Iranian para volleyballers won three consecutive sets against Brazilian rivals 25-23, 25-21 and 25-19 marking their fourth triumph at the event.

The Iranian squad had previously prevailed over the US (3-0), host China (3-0) as well as Egypt (3-0) and will face Germany on Monday as the last group-stage match.

Meanwhile, Iranian women sitting volleyball players thrashed also downed Rwanda (3-0) to celebrate their second victory in the tournament.

Women national team had previously conceded three defeats against Ukraine, the US and Brazil before they overcame Canada on Saturday.

Women’s national sitting volleyball team of Iran overcame Canada to bag first win at 2016 World ParaVolley Intercontinental.

In their fourth encounter at China’s Intercontinental, Iranian women sitting volleyball players thrashed Canada in three successive sets 25-19, 25-23 and 25-15 on Saturday.

National players of Iran present at the event had previously conceded three defeats against Ukraine (3-2), the US (3-0) and Brazil (3-0).

The Iranian outfit is competing in the same group as China, Ukraine, the US, Brazil, Rwanda as well as Canada.

Women national team is scheduled to play against Rwanda in their fifths encounter on Sunday March 20.

The 2016 Intercontinental and World ParaVolley is underway in Hangzhou City, China from 17-23 March 2016. [THIS VENUE HAS SINCE CHANGED]

  • [IRAN] Sitting volleyballers bag 3 wins at 2016 Intercontinental
    19th March 2016, MEHR news agency

Men’s national sitting volleyball team of Iran has obtained three successive victories at 2016 World ParaVolley Intercontinental.

National players of Iran overcame the US 25-10, 25-17, 30-28 on the third day of the 2016 Intercontinental and World ParaVolley.

The Iranian outfit had previously thrashed host China 25-16, 25-19 and 25-15 in three successive sets on Friday after they had subdued Egypt 25-18, 25-17 and 25-16 at their opening match on Thursday.

Iran, who holds Paralympic quotas together with China, Brazil, Germany, Egypt and America, will meet Brazilian rivals on Sunday March 20.

Meanwhile, Iran women’s national team present at the event has so far conceded three defeats against Ukraine (3-2), the US (3-0) and Brazil (3-0).

Women national team is scheduled to play agaisnt Canada and Rwanda as their fourth and fifths encounters.

The 2016 Intercontinental and World ParaVolley is underway in Hangzhou City, China from 17-23 March 2016.

The event will be the final opportunity for one men’s and one women’s team to qualify for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

It is also a chance for the already qualified teams to gain some last-minute match experience leading up to the Games.

The U.S. Men’s Sitting Team got a glimpse of its potential on Saturday when it rallied from a 23-18 third-set deficit to tie the score. But the effort was not quite enough as the team fell to No. 2-ranked Iran, 25-10, 25-17, 30-28 at the ParaVolley Intercontinental Cup in Anji, China.

The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team continued its winning ways, toppling Ukraine 25-13, 25-21, 27-25 in its fourth pool play match among the Rio de Janeiro Paralympic-qualified teams.


Had the U.S. Men’s Sitting Team completed its third-set comeback, the team would have made history with its first set win against the Iranians in international competition. The U.S. Men’s Sitting Team topped Iran in one set during a scrimmage match prior to the start of competition on Tuesday.

“The third set really showed what we can do when we buy in to a team culture, and I think it showed that we can be really competitive even when we don’t have all our pieces together,” U.S. Men’s Sitting Team Head Coach Greg Walkersaid.

DataVolley Stats: MSITvIRI | WSITvUKR

Team Captain Eric Duda (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) led Team USA with nine points (eight kills, one ace), while Chris Seilkop (DeLand, Florida) added seven points on six kills and a block.

Walker also looked to the team’s bench for momentum during the third set, subbing in Sam Surowiec (Kirkland, Washington), Hugo Storer (San Juan, Puerto Rico) and Travis Ricks (San Diego, California) to help gain momentum at the attack line and on serve receive. Both Storer and Ricks were perfect on each of their one reception attempts.

The U.S. Men led Iran in kills (27-26), but Iran held the advantage in blocks (10-1) and aces (12-4). Libero John Kremerhandled a team-best 22 receptions with an 86 positive reception percent as the team was credited with an overall 67 positive reception percent to Iran’s 83 positive reception percent. James Stuck (New Kensington, Pennyslvania) set Team USA to a 32 kill percent for the match, while Iran converted 36 percent of its attacks into points.

“In my opinion the skill level of this team is better per individual (than previous teams), and we have so many guys who can play multiple positions,” Seilkop said of the substitutions.

While Walker said he was pleased with the team’s progression throughout the match, the true test will come Sunday when the Americans take on Egypt.

“We have to be consistent from start to finish,” he added. “(With Iran) we approached the sets as mini-games, and I think that mentality helped the guys focus on getting out of rotations and keeping it moving.”

The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team battled through “defensive struggles,” and a controversial call late in the third set to beat Ukraine.

At 24-24 in the third set, middle blocker Lora Webster (Phoenix, Arizona) was called for delay-of-game after the head referee failed to recognize her attempts to get a new ball at the service line. Team captain Heather Erickson(Fayetteville, North Carolina) emphatically tied the game and put the U.S. ahead for good on consecutive kills following the call.

“I really think it says so much about who we are as a team that we didn’t fall apart and just trusted that we could get it done,” Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Washington) said of the finish.

Ukraine led the U.S. in blocks (12-9) and the teams tied in aces (7-7). However, the U.S. led in kills (32-16). Bethany Zummo (Dublin, California) handled a team-best 18 receptions with a 50 positive reception percent. Kaleo Kanahele(Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) started the first and third sets at setter and Alexis Shifflet started the second set in her place in leading Team USA to a 47 kill percent and .309 hitting efficiency (32-11-68).

Erickson dominated the match, scoring 21 points off of 16 kills, three aces and two blocks. Holloway added seven points (four kills, two aces, one block).

U.S. Women’s Sitting Team Head Coach Bill Hamiter also highlighted the strong contributions from players off the bench, particularly from Michelle Schiffler (Lake Wales, Florida) who clinched the second set with a hard kill from the outside.

“It’s good for (the coaches) to try different things and see how players react so that we have a clear picture going into the Paralympics,” he explained. “It’s finding out how players react in certain systems whether they’re coming off the bench or starting.”

The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team faces Canada at 5:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, while the U.S. Men’s Sitting Team looks to score their first tournament win against Egypt at 2:30 a.m. ET.

U.S. Men’s Sitting Team Statistics vs. Iran
Starter: Dan Regan, Eric Duda, James Stuck, Roderick Green, Charlie Swearingen, Chris Sielkop, John Kremer
Points: Duda 9, Sielkop 7, Green 6, Regan 4, Stuck 3, Swearingen 3
Kills: Duda 8,  Sielkop 6, Regan 4, Green 4, Stuck 3, Swearingen 2
Blocks: Seilkop 1
Aces: Duda 1, Green 2, Swearingen 1

U.S. Women’s Sitting Team Statistics vs. Ukraine
Starters: Lora Webster, Katie Holloway, Heather Erickson, Monique Burkland, Kaleo Kanahele, Nicky Nieves, Bethany Zummo
Points: Erickson 21, Holloway 7, Schiffler 5, Nieves 5, Webster 4, Burkland 4, Shifflett 2
Kills: Erickson 16, Holloway 4, Burkland 4, Schiffler 3, Nieves 3, Webster 2
Blocks: Webster 2, Schiffler 2, Nieves 2, Holloway 1
Aces: Erickson 3, Holloway 2, Schifflet 2

  • Rwanda: Volleyball Team Lose to USA in Intercontinental Cup
    18/3/2016 Richard Bishumba

The national women sitting volleyball team suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of USA on Wednesday in their opening match at the ongoing World Paravolley Intercontinental Cup in Anji, Hangzhou city, China.

Pater Karreman’s team was a no-match for the United States, who won in straight sets 25-9, 25-10 and 25-7. The week-long world class tournament kicked-off on Mach 17 and will run through to March 23.

Debutants Rwanda return to action today with two games, against Brazil at 12pm China Time (6am CAT), before locking horns with Canada at 5pm (11am CAT).

The reigning African champions have been drawn in the same pool with, USA, Ukraine, Ireland, Brazil, Canada and hosts China.

Before the team’s departure last Saturday, head coach Karreman admitted it would be tough to beat China or USA but all is possible against Canada and Ireland.

Rwanda qualified for the World ParaVolley Intercontinental Cup and Paralympics last July after coming from a set down to upset Egypt in five sets (3-2) in the final of African Championships staged at Amahoro stadium.


Rwanda vs Brazil 6am

Canada vs Rwanda 11am


USA 3-0 Rwanda (25-9, 25-10, 25-7)

  • Volleyball assis : Un sport qui prend de plus en plus d’importance au Canada
    18/3/2016 ici radio Canada

Nos deux équipes nationales de volleyball assis sont en Chine pour participer au Tournoi intercontinental de paravolley 2016. Les Canadiennes sont déjà qualifiées pour les prochains Jeux paralympiques de Rio. Chantal Beauchesne de St-Isidore est avec l’équipe féminine depuis cinq ans et nous parle de son sport. Chronique de sport amateur avec Guillaume Charbonneau.

AUDIO Volleyball assis  :  Un sport qui prend de plus en plus d’importance au Canada

  • Azzurre ancora battute, il Giappone più esperto vince 3-0
    18/3/2016 iVolley

In original language.
Non è bastato giocare due buoni parziali (il secondo e il terzo) alle azzurre del  sitting volley per evitare la seconda sconfitta nel Torneo di Qualificazione Paralimpica di Anji. Le ragazze di Guido Pasciari sono state battute 3-0 (25-12 25-20 25-18) dal Giappone. Sul piano tecnico decisiva la prestazione al servizio ed in ricezione della squadra asiatica. Come già accaduto nell’esordio contro la Slovenia le ragazze tricolori hanno pagato la loro inesperienza a questi livelli, nei momenti più delicati del match.
“Abbiamo incontrato anche questa volta delle difficoltà ad inizio match – ha dichiarato la capitana Alessandra Vitale – A partire dal secondo set ed anche nel terzo il nostro rendimento è migliorato. In alcune fasi abbiamo giocato molto bene. Però ci manca l’abitudine ad affrontare le situazioni di difficoltà, cosa che hanno le nostre avversarie che hanno accumulato una maggiore esperienza. Mi rammarico che non siamo riuscite a dare in campo tutto quello che possiamo”
Il dt Guido Pasciari ha sottolineato: “Purtroppo il Giappone ha interpretato la gara meglio di noi. Ho provato cambiare il match utilizzando tutte le atlete a disposizione, pur non avendo molte scelte tattiche da poter fare. C’è stata una buona reazione nel 2° e 3° set, che potevamo conquistare con qualche errore in meno. Per noi queste gare sono tutte esperienze preziose che ci torneranno utili ”

From Google Translate.

It is not enough to play two good partial (second and third) to the blue of the sitting volleyball to avoid the second defeat in the Paralympic Qualification Tournament of Anji. The girls Guido Pasciari were beaten 3-0 (25-12 25-20 25-18) from Japan. The decisive technical performance in the service and in receipt of the Asian team. As was the case in the onset against Slovenia tricolor girls have paid their inexperience at this level, in the most delicate moments of the match.
“We also met this time of difficulty at the beginning of the match – said the captain Alessandra Vitale – Beginning 2 September and in the third our performance has improved. In some stages we played very well. But we lack the habit to deal with difficult situations, which have our opponents that have accumulated more experience. I regret that we could not take the field all we can ”
The dt Guido Pasciari stressed:” Unfortunately, Japan has interpreted the race better than we do. I tried to change the match using all the athletes available, despite not having many choices tactics you can do. There was a good reaction in the 2nd and 3rd set, we could win with some mistakes in the least. For us, these races are all valuable experiences that will be useful ”

  • [Rwanda women] Volleyball team lose to USA in Intercontinental Cup
    March 18, 2016. RICHARD BISHUMBA


Rwanda vs Brazil 6am
Canada vs Rwanda 11am


USA 3-0 Rwanda (25-9, 25-10, 25-7)

The national women sitting volleyball team suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of USA on Wednesday in their opening match at the ongoing World Paravolley Intercontinental Cup in Anji, Hangzhou city, China.

Pater Karreman’s team was a no-match for the United States, who won in straight sets 25-9, 25-10 and 25-7. The week-long world class tournament kicked-off on Mach 17 and will run through to March 23.

Debutants Rwanda return to action today with two games, against Brazil at 12pm China Time (6am CAT), before locking horns with Canada at 5pm (11am CAT).

The reigning African champions have been drawn in the same pool with, USA, Ukraine, Ireland, Brazil, Canada and hosts China.

Before the team’s departure last Saturday, head coach Karreman admitted it would be tough to beat China or USA but all is possible against Canada and Ireland.

Rwanda qualified for the World ParaVolley Intercontinental Cup and Paralympics last July after coming from a set down to upset Egypt in five sets (3-2) in the final of African Championships staged at Amahoro stadium.

  • Women’s Sitting Team Beats China, Iran
    18th March 2016. Karen Patterson

Heather Erickson refused to be denied, swinging hard from the outside and bouncing the volleyball out of bounds off the opponent’s hands.Women's Sitting Team

With the kill, the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team captain sealed a 3-1 (25-22, 18-25, 25-19, 25-17) victory for Team USA against China on Friday at the World ParaVolley Intercontinental Cup. Hours later, the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team completed the victory lap with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-13, 25-18) win against Iran. The team now holds a 3-0 record in pool play among the Paralympic-qualified teams.

The U.S. Men’s Sitting Team fell 3-0 (25-15, 25-9, 25-21) to Germany on Friday, moving to 0-2 in the Paralympics Qualified pool.

Related: U.S. Women’s Sitting Team Home | U.S. Men’s Sitting Team Home | World ParaVolley

For the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team, Friday’s victory was another chapter in the longtime rivalry with the Chinese Women’s Sitting Team dating back to the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

“We’ve played them so many stinking times that we know what we need to do (to win),” Erickson said. “It’s really just a matter of executing on our side.”


The U.S. minimized mistakes in the third and fourth sets, giving up just two and three points, respectively, off of errors in the match’s final frames. Additionally, Team USA out-blocked the Chinese 20-13 on the match, led by Lora Webster (13 points: 7 blocks, 6 kills).

“It’s just great to see the kind of penetration we were getting,” said Head Coach Bill Hamiter.

But it was ultimately defense that carried the Americans to victory, Hamiter added. Libero Bethany Zummo had a 41 positive reception percent on a team-leading 22 chances to help the offense to a 34 kill percent.

“From set one our defense was really playing tough, diving, moving and getting the effort we needed,” Hamiter said.

Erickson was credited with a 62 positive reception percent on 13 chances and Monique Burkland turned in a 57 positive reception percent on 14 chances.

Following the emotional victory, the Americans refocused to top Iran, avoiding the easy misstep of getting caught in the moment. Although not as crisp as the win against China, Zummo said defeating Iran showed Team USA’s versatility and maturity.

“My voice hurt from the first (match), so that was challenging,” Zummo said. “You have to fight through it and we did a good job. There wasn’t as much emotional attachment for beating Iran, but we have to keep looking forward.”

Erickson (9 points: 8 kills, 1 block) and Burkland (8 points: 7 kills, 1 block) led the American offense, while Zummo anchored the defense with 15 digs. The U.S. held a comfortable lead for much of the match, particularly in the second set when setter Kaleo Kanahele served eight consecutive points, with three aces during the run; the team totaled 10 aces to Iran’s three during the match.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Men’s Sitting Team will look to come out swinging against the No. 2-ranked Iran on Saturday following a tough loss to Germany. U.S. Men’s Sitting Team Head Coach Greg Walker attributed the loss to a lack of consistency and failure to follow-through on minor details.

Middle blocker Dan Regan agreed, adding, “It was just a matter of staying focused on each point and not letting one bad point throw everything off or turn into four or five bad points.”

The Americans rebounded to lead much of the third set; however, the Germans were relentless, reclaiming the lead for good after tying Team USA at 18-18.

Regan led the American offense with eight kills and one block for nine points, finding holes from the right side as Germany concentrated its block on outside hitter Eric Duda. Roderick Green (West Monroe, La.) scored eight points with a team-best three blocks and five kills on 21 swings. U.S. libero John Kremer recorded 20 receptions with an 80 positive percent. Duda was credited with six points and a 64 positive reception percent on 14 chances. Charlie Swearingen handled 12 receptions with a 67 positive percent.

The Men’s Sitting Team faces Iran at 9 p.m. ET, while the women face Ukraine at 10:30 p.m. ET.

49-year old Zhao Hong is one of a kind. A bronze medallist from the 1988 Seoul Olympics with China’s national Volleyball team, Zhao has recently travelled to her home country to pursue an ambitious goal: qualifying for this year’s Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro where she would represent The Netherlands with the Dutch national Sitting Volleyball team.

Zhao was a member of the Chinese national team that returned home with a bronze medal from the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, where they lost a dramatic semi-final with the Soviet Union.  “I was one of the shortest players in the team but was a good jumper and had a good technique,” Zhao recalls. “I played professionally for many years in China and I was a middle blocker who was well known for my slide attack,” she adds.

Zhao explains that she is still in contact with many of the players from that Olympic team but reveals they are now spread all over the world, with three currently living in Switzerland, another three in Germany and herself being based in The Netherlands.

The semi-final match of the Seoul Olympics is a dramatic one that many in the business still remember. China were the reigning Olympic and World champions entering the tournament in the Korean capital but they ended up losing the tie-break to the Soviets: “We played a very good match, but lost it at the end with two mistakes that we made. It was the first loss for China in six years,” she recounts.

Zhao, or Hong as she is now better known in Europe, trained six to seven days a week in China, and for seven to eight hours a day. She played for the Chinese national team for three years and before that represented the provincial team of Liaoning. She was one of the first Volleyball players who moved abroad after this was allowed in the early 80s by the Chinese legislation.

One may wonder how she ended up in Holland. “The Dutch head coach at the time was from China; he was also a Chinese referee and he suggested that I should come to Europe, and more specifically to The Netherlands,” Zhao says. After settling down in Holland, she joined the team of VC SNEEK, five-time Dutch national champions at the time and regular competitors also in the European Cups. Zhao moved to Europe at Christmas 1989 and today still lives in Sneek; after meeting her now husband and after retiring from competitive sport she had three children (two boys and one girl).

Was it much of a cultural shock when she first came to Europe and to The Netherlands? “My first impression was that the way people move here is more robotic than in Asia and not as smooth as in China,” she says. “Also it felt like the players were not always thinking about what they did with the ball whereas I always kind of knew what I was going to do.”

Training four hours a day was way easier and nicer than the demanding routine she had to cope with back home in China and whilst playing for VC SNEEK she won the Dutch national championship twice. Zhao stopped playing in 1992 because of a severe cartilage problem in her right knee. She previously had more problems in her left knee, probably from running a large amount of ‘slide attacks’. The problem in the right knee developed later and was more serious – possibly as a result from over-compensating for the left leg.

From China to Europe, from Volleyball to Sitting Volleyball: how did this happen? “I played club Sitting Volleyball for Sneek for many years and whilst offering to help the national team never really saw competing as a possibility,” Zhao recounts. “My club coach said to try it, but I didn’t see myself as having a disability. However, I approached the men’s national team coach at a national league competition match in Leersum and he put me in contact with the women’s team staff,” Zhao recalls.

She went to the European Championships in Slovenia in November of last year – the first time she saw international Sitting Volleyball matches live – and classified as a permanent Minimally Disabled player.

Zhao tells her friends that over the years she has gradually lost her jump, and now she has gone down so much that she is sitting on the floor to play Volleyball!

How does it feel to be part of the Dutch national Sitting Volleyball team? “I really like it, especially because I am used to the performance environment. Like any other player, sometimes I disagree with how things are done but I accept it and carry on,” she says. “It also took me some time to get used to variety of different disabilities we have in the team and you have to always understand and accept that sometimes teammates are in pain, or are tired.”

Zhao is now returning to her home country to carry the Dutch hopes of qualifying for the Rio 2016 Paralympics at the World ParaVolley Intercontinental in Anji, Huzhou scheduled for March 17-23. “I really enjoy it and I am looking forward to returning to China with my new adopted country. I feel excited but nervous at the same time. I actually had the chance to play Sitting Volleyball for China since I know their coach, but we decided that I am too old to move back and train twice a day – five times a week like they do!”

She is looking forward to finding out how she can play and how well the Netherlands can do. Four years ago at the London 2012 Paralympic Games the Dutch team lost their semi-final to China 15-11 in the 5th set before losing the bronze medal match to Ukraine, whereas China went on to beat USA in the match for the gold medal. To date, China have won gold at all of the Games which have included Sitting Volleyball for women on the programme.

Zhao and her teammates will play five matches between all the non qualified teams and then the top two will compete in the final, and winner goes to Rio! “It is a funny feeling, scary, weird but it is all good!” Zhao concludes.

Those already qualified for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games are:


While the teams in the non-qualified groups are:


  • U.S. Sitting Teams See Split Results in Opening Matches
    17th March 2016. Karen Patterson

Lora Webster doesn’t consider herself a particularly strong server.

The Rwanda Women’s Sitting Team may disagree after the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team middle blocker dished up 23 serves in three sets, with six aces during the United States’ 25-9, 25-10, 25-7 victory over the African side at the World ParaVolley Intercontinental Cup.


The U.S. Men’s Sitting Team struggled to minimize errors in their first match, falling 3-1 (22-25, 25-19, 25-12, 25-18) to host-nation China.

“Typically I’ve had a top-spin serve, but lately I’ve switched to more of a float so that’s been more comfortable,” Webster said. “With Rwanda, it wasn’t about speed. It was more about placement, so that helped too.”

Strong serving – the U.S. Women’s Sitting team totaled 19 aces against three missed serves – was one of multiple areas of success for Team USA in its tournament-opening match.

Thursday marked the first day of play at the Intercontinental Cup, which features 28 teams from 18 nations, including 13 of the Rio de Janeiro Paralympic-qualified teams. Both U.S. Men’s and Women’s Sitting Teams are playing in round-robin pools against other qualified teams.

The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team spread the ball throughout their match; seven players totaled at least three kills, led byMonique Burkland (10 kills, 1 block). The statistics reflected the team’s efforts to master a new offense, said Head CoachBill Hamiter.

“We saw a little bit where the flow (of the volley) was going one way and we set opposite that flow,” Hamiter said. “It’s simple stuff, really, but stuff that we haven’t pushed real hard. I thought we executed well today, and we were getting a lot of single blocks, which is why we want to go on that faster scheme.”

Thanks to the early success, Hamiter experimented with the team’s line-up, using multiple substitutions in all three sets; all 12 players saw playing time in the win.

“Especially what’s nice is to get them playing time in the tournament so that no matter who we need on the court they’re ready,” he said.

Serving runs of at least eight points by Webster, Nicky Nieves and Lexi Shifflet in the first, second and third sets respectively helped push the U.S. ahead of Rwanda. However, Webster said the team’s ability to maintain its level of play with large leads was more significant.

“A lot of times we play down, so I think that says a lot about us as a team and how comfortable we feel with our offense,” she explained. “Even though we did a couple different lineups and different systems, the fact that we focused on what we were doing says a lot about our mindset and where our preparation falls.”

The team will look to carry the high expectations forward to Friday when the women take on both China and Iran. Ranked No. 1 in the world, China has become the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team’s top rival since the 2008 Paralympics.

Despite the pressure, Burkland said the team is taking the match in stride, planning to rest, relax and strategize Thursday evening.

“It’s going to be a fun match, and we just have to stay relaxed,” she said.

The U.S. Men’s Sitting Team also implemented an up-tempo offense finding varied success. Although the team struggled with errors, setter James Stuck said the new system will pay dividends long-term.

“It’s challenging, but it’s going to take our game to the next level and I like the challenge,” Stuck added.

During the first set, the Americans paced the Chinese, trading runs and shots. However, after taking an 8-5 lead in the second set, the U.S. struggled to maintain its tempo, allowing the Chinese to pull ahead as the set wore on.

“We knew what they were going to do and where the ball was going to go, and we knew what we wanted to do with our match-ups. I felt like it was the honeymoon phase where the attention to detail was better,” said U.S. Men’s Head CoachGreg Walker of the first set. “As we went into the second set, we lost track of where our primary players were and China changed their game, and we weren’t adjusting.”

In addition to tightening up the offense, captain Eric Duda hopes to see the U.S. Men’s Sitting Team improve its aggressive serving on Friday when it takes on Germany.

“I think we need to have a better focus than just putting the ball in play,” Duda said. “There’s got to be good focus.”

The U.s. Women’s Sitting Team next plays China at 9 p.m. ET on March 17, before playing Iran at 2:30 a.m. ET. The Men’s Sitting Team will play Germany at (12 a.m. ET on March 18).

  • Slovenia troppo forte azzurre battute all’esordio
    17/03/2016. iVolley

L’azzurro Guido Pasciari hanno perso. a Anji, la prima gara del torneo di qualificazione per la Paralimpiadi di Rio 2016. L’Italia ha venduto 3-0 (25-10 25-17 25-09) in Slovenia, più esperto team di terza forza del paesaggio europeo, il . dopo una partita in cui l’emozione è stato sentito, in una squadra tricolore primo vero impegno al massimo livello
l’allenatore Guido Pasciari utilizzato come sestetto base: Bellandi, Battaglia, Dobson, Magnani, e Aringhieri Bosio. poi durante la partita ha usato anche la Gran Bretagna e Desini. Al di là l’emozione, le ragazze ha fatto vedere qualche azione italiana per la buona fattura e alcune parti della gara hanno reso i tempi difficili della Slovenia, tuttavia, è in avvio in finale, hanno sostenuto la loro indiscussa qualità.
analisi lucida di coach gara: “ci si aspettava un debutto così, abbiamo sofferto molto sul gioco di ricostruzione. Nel 2 ° set, costringendo la maggior parte dello scherzo, abbiamo imbarazzo il squadriglia polacca, uno dei migliori in Europa.Andiamo partita dopo partita per acquisire esperienza e con convinzione a cogliere i risultati positivi “.

The World ParaVolley Intercontinental Cup doesn’t officially begin until Thursday, but the U.S. Men’s Sitting Team wasted no time in making the most of their trip to China, making a little team history Tuesday afternoon.

During a scrimmage at Tuesday’s practice the U.S. Men’s Sitting Team buoyed its confidence by winning a set against No. 2-ranked Iran for the first time. The victory came less than a day after both U.S. Men’s and Women’s Sitting Teams arrived in China for the international tournament following more than 24 hours of travel. Both teams spent time practicing Tuesday afternoon, adjusting their minds and bodies after a long trip.

“We served much more aggressively and moved our block more, forcing Iran to play off the net,” said U.S. Men’s Sitting Team Head Coach Greg Walker. “We’ll find success if we’re forcing teams to play to our strengths, instead of playing to theirs.”

DID YOU KNOW? The Intercontinental Cup features 28 teams from 18 countries, including 13 of the 14 teams that have qualified for the Rio de Janeiro ParalympicsQualified teams, including both the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Sitting Teams, play a round-robin format, while non-qualified teams will compete for the final men’s and women’s spots. Below are some additional facts about the tournament:

  • 99 matches will be played across seven days of competition
  • Due to local restrictions, the matches will not be live-streamed or broadcast. However, fans can check USA Volleyball’s website, or worldparavolley.org for results and information
  • The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team can improve its seed ranking for the Paralympics by winning gold at the Intercontinental Cup. The team currently is ranked No. 2 in the seeding standings, behind China
  • The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team will face Rwanda, China, Iran, Ukraine, Canada and Brazil, while the U.S. Men’s Sitting team plays China, Germany, Iran, Egypt and Brazil

WHAT’S IN THE BAG? For many athletes, long trips to foreign countries provides a unique opportunity to experience new cultures, food and scenery. However, sometimes creature comforts such as a favorite coffee or snack are necessary to help make long trips feel more comfortable. Members of the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team listed the following items as essentials for a great trip:

  • Kaleo Kanahele: Energy beans and coffee
  • Heather Erickson: Minnie Mouse pillow
  • Nicky Nieves: Make-up bag
  • Lora Webster: Lotion
  • Tia Edwards: An extension chord
  • Monique Burkland: Zombie blanket

CHRIS SEILKOP CONNECTS THE DOTS: When Chris Seilkop‘s flight from Houston to San Francisco was delayed an hour Sunday morning, the 6-6 outside hitter was nervous about making his connecting flight to Hong Kong, but didn’t worry too much. When the flight was delayed a second time, Seilkop quickly realized he would have to find an alternative route to the Intercontinental Cup.

“They kept asking me if I just wanted to take the same flight the next day, but I really wanted to try and get (to Anji) by Tuesday morning,” Seilkop said. “I just kept telling the lady at the ticket counter, ‘Get me to Hong Kong and I’ll figure it out from there.’”

Seilkop eventually made it to Hong Kong after a layover in Tokyo, Japan, missing his original connecting flight to Hangzhou by an hour. Seilkop got a quick night’s sleep at the airport hotel before landing in Hangzhou, about 90 minutes from the Intercontinental Cup’s host city, Anji, early Tuesday morning.

“I’ve traveled so much I thought it’d probably work out, but I was going on blind faith that there’d be a game plan when I got to Hong Kong,” Seilkop said.

U.S. Women’s Sitting Team defensive specialist Kari Miller also fell victim to flight cancellations, arriving late Tuesday night.

  • Rwanda to play its first match against USA in Intercontinentals
    March, 09, 2016. RwandaPV

Rwanda Women Sitting Volleyball will arrive in Hangzhou – China for Intercontinental Cup on 13th March, 2016 by Qatar Airways Company at 15.40.
The team will have 3 days to train and host friendlies before the official start of the competition which is scheduled to start on 17th March. Participating countries are 13: Brazil (BRA), Canada (CAN), China (CHN), Egypt (EGY), Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), Italy (ITA), Japan (JPN), Netherlands (NED), Russia (RUS), Rwanda (RWA), Slovenia (SLO), Ukraine (UKR), United States of America (USA).

Two groups are created according to the qualified and non-qualified teams. – Note that this competition will qualify one women team and one men team as the last countries to be on the list of teams in Rio2016 Paralympic Games – .

In the Preliminary Round each team will play the other teams from the same Group according to the
current WPV Sitting Volleyball Rules. In Qualified group, the top 4 teams after the Preliminary Round will play semi-finals as follows:
1st v 4th and 2nd v 3rd. The winners of these matches will play the Intercontinental Gold medal match. The losers of these matches will play the Intercontinental Bronze medal match. The 5th and 6th teams will play for 5th place in the Intercontinental. The 7th team will be allocated 7th place.

Rwanda women team, in yellow and blue colors, will start competition with USA ON 17th at 09.00, on 18th vs BRAZIL at 12.00, the same day vs CANADA at 17.30, on 19th vs UKRAINE at 17.30, on 20th vs IRAN at 14.30, the last match in preliminaries will be on 21th vs CHINA at 09.00

China time zone is +8 hours to GMT while Rwanda is +2 hours at GMT which means that if you are in Rwanda, you add 6 hours to your current time to know the time in China. This is important for Rwandan fans of Sitting Volleyball and all followers of Rwanda in Intercontinental Cup 2016.

This competition will serve as preparations to Paralympic Games of Rio2016. Rwanda entered in this world of Sitting Volleyball after its qualification match against Egypt in July 2015 during the African Championship held in Kigali City. It will be the first time the African Women Sitting Volleyball team participate in Paralympic Games. Rwandan women did this debut, the history marked it.

NPC Rwanda would like to thank the government of Rwanda for its recognition to rights of persons with disability, specially the one of sports and leisure.

  • Iran to Take Advantage of ParaVolley Intercontinental, Official Says
    February, 04, 2016 – 18:00 Tasnim News

The Iranian men’s and women’s sitting volleyball teams will take part at the 2016 World ParaVolley Intercontinental which will be held in Hangzhou City, China from 17-23 March.

The prestigious event will bring 17 men and 15 women teams together.

Algeria, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, South Korea, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and USA will participate in the men’s section.

Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, the Netherlands, Russia, Rwanda, Slovenia, Ukraine and USA are women participating teams.

“The competition is a good opportunity for us to test our players before participating in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games,” Tavakkoli said.

“A total of best teams will take part at the World ParaVolley Intercontinental. It will be a good opportunity for us to see where we are. It can be considered as some good warm-up matches for our team ahead of Paralympics,” she added.

  • Teams announced for World ParaVolley Intercontinental
    07.12.2015 IPC media

The 2016 World ParaVolley Intercontinental, to take place in March 2016, has seen its first wave of teams register for the event. Teams from all four World ParaVolley Zones will participate. This is the final Rio 2016 qualification event.

Final team entry forms for the 2016 World ParaVolley Intercontinental has been extended to 14 December.

More information on team entries, including making changes, can be found on World ParaVolley’s website.

  • World ParaVolley announces the confirmed teams for the Intercontinental Cup 2016 (aka Last place for Rio).
    4.12.2015 WPV 

The 2016 World ParaVolley Intercontinental, to take place in March, has seen its first wave of teams register for the event.  The competition promises to be a very competitive one with teams from all four World ParaVolley Zones participating.

As of January 10th, the following teams have registered:

Men Women