Wednesday, 29 May 2024

U.S. Women’s Sitting Team Triumphs with Paralympic Gold in Tokyo

TOKYO (Sept. 5, 2021) – The journey may have been challenging, but the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team emerged victorious, surpassing all expectations at the Paralympic Games.

The U.S. Sitting Team secured a remarkable win against China, with a score of 3-1 (25-12, 25-20, 22-25, 25-19) on Sunday, earning their second consecutive gold medal at the Makuhari Messe event hall. This intense match marked the fourth encounter between the U.S. and China in the Paralympic final, with each team winning two gold medals.

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In recognition of their outstanding performance, U.S. outside hitter and Team Captain Katie Holloway was honored with the title of Most Valuable Player. Accompanying her, Bethany Zummo was awarded Best Libero and Best Receiver, Kaleo Kanahele Maclay earned the distinction of Best Setter, and Monique Matthews was recognized as Best Blocker.

The U.S. Women’s journey to Japan faced unexpected setbacks, including a two-week delay due to COVID exposure in the United States, preventing the team from training together. Additionally, two players from the original roster had to be replaced for health reasons. Despite these challenges, the team demonstrated resilience and determination.

“I think that was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” shared Holloway. “This journey has been so challenging. We showed up here totally changed from the past six weeks of our experience. I still can’t believe what we did.”

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During the pool play, the U.S. Women suffered a 3-0 loss to China. Despite this setback, they rallied together, pushing the loss aside and focusing on their performance in the gold-medal match. The team significantly improved, conceding only 15 points on errors, matching China’s record.

“I think the match today came down to who can execute in the moment more consistently,” said U.S. Head Coach Bill Hamiter. “I thought it was a high-level match; very well played on both sides.”

The U.S. team dominated in several key areas, leading in kills (58-51), blocks (18-7), and aces (6-3). Their hitting efficiency, led by Maclay, was an impressive .436, while China hit at 315.

Notably, opposite hitter Heather Erickson, competing in her fourth Paralympics, emerged as the top scorer with 21 points, comprising 17 kills, three blocks, and one ace. Holloway, also in her fourth Paralympics, contributed 20 points through 15 kills, four blocks, and one ace. Matthews, participating in her third Paralympics, amassed 19 points with 14 kills and a match-high five blocks.

“Today, we did a really good job of refocusing ourselves, especially after we lost that third set,” remarked Erickson. “Knowing that’s not the end. We just have to refocus and play our game.”

Middle blocker Jillian Williams, who made her Paralympic debut in Tokyo and unexpectedly secured a starting position, impressed with nine points, including seven kills and two blocks.

Another middle blocker, Lora Webster, competed in her fifth Paralympic Games while carrying her fourth child. Webster contributed six points with two kills, three blocks, and one ace. Maclay scored six points with two aces, three kills, and two blocks. She skillfully set the U.S. team to achieve a remarkable .436 hitting efficiency.

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In her Paralympic debut, outside hitter Emma Schieck played as a substitute and served an ace for the final point of the match, sealing the victory for the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team.

FAQs

1. How many times has the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team won gold at the Paralympic Games?

The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team has now won gold at the Paralympic Games twice in a row.

2. Who was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament?

Katie Holloway, the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team’s outside hitter and Team Captain, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

3. How did the U.S. team prepare for the Paralympic Games?

The U.S. team faced various challenges during their preparation, including a two-week delay due to COVID exposure and the need to replace two players from the original roster for health reasons.

4. What were the key statistics from the gold-medal match?

The U.S. team excelled in several areas, leading in kills (58-51), blocks (18-7), and aces (6-3). Their hitting efficiency was an impressive .436.

5. Who were the top scorers for the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team?

Heather Erickson emerged as the top scorer with 21 points, followed closely by Katie Holloway with 20 points. Monique Matthews also made a significant contribution with 19 points.

Conclusion

The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team showcased their resilience and exceptional skills to secure the gold medal in the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Despite facing numerous obstacles, they overcame adversity and triumphed with determination. Led by remarkable individuals, the team carried the spirit of teamwork and sportsmanship throughout the competition. Their victory marks another milestone in the rich history of the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team’s achievements. To learn more about the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team and their remarkable journey, visit Alpinetgheep.

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