Saturday, 20 Jul 2024

Sitting Volleyball Vets Thriving at the Pinnacle

Sitting Volleyball

DENVER, Colo. (March 20, 2018) – Meet Lora Webster, a dedicated athlete who has devoted almost half of her life to training and competing with the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team. She has been with the team since its inception, during a time when the sport was relatively unknown, and finding disabled volleyball players was a challenge.

In 2003, when the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team was just getting started, the priority was to find enough players to form a team and see the sport’s potential. Thankfully, their hard work paid off, and they have built a strong foundation since then.

Recently, Webster, 31, and the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team participated in exhibition matches against Canada and Russia at the Colorado Convention Center. The matches were part of the Colorado Crossroads Qualifier, an event that the team has been involved in since 2009.

The U.S. Women’s team performed exceptionally well, winning all their sets against Canada and Russia. This successful start to their 2018 season sets the stage for an exciting journey towards the ParaVolley World Championships. Despite finishing second to China in the last two tournaments, the U.S. Women’s team has never won the World Championships.

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After achieving Paralympic gold in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and reaching the No. 1 ranking globally, the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team has become a force to be reckoned with. Webster embraces the pressure of being the team everyone wants to beat, as it motivates them to work even harder.

“We’ve always believed in our potential to be the best. Now that we have proven it, we have to stay committed to maintaining our position,” Webster stated confidently.

Webster is the sole remaining player from the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team that won a bronze medal in Athens in 2004. Three others, Heather Erickson, Katie Holloway, and Nichole Millage, continue to contribute their expertise since winning silver in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.

All these veterans appreciate the remarkable improvement in the sitting volleyball program over the years. Millage, 40, shares Webster’s enthusiasm about being at the top, even if it means facing tough competition.

“As the best, everyone wants to defeat us. I appreciate that they are pushing themselves to surpass us, as it keeps us on our toes,” Millage affirmed.

Furthermore, these athletes recognize the tremendous growth of their team’s depth. Holloway, 31 years old and the team captain for 12 years, expressed her contentment with how each individual’s contribution has strengthened the team.

“As a team, we have seen significant improvements with each Paralympic quadrennial. Our bench strength has never been better, with every player making a valuable impact,” Holloway explained.

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Erickson, 24, who will enter her 11th year with the team, also emphasizes the advancement of the sport itself.

“Previously, there was limited movement; we would pass directly. But now, we have developed intricate systems,” Erickson shared.

It is evident that the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team has come a long way in terms of skill, coordination, and teamwork. They have not only transformed themselves into a world-class team but have also propelled sitting volleyball to new heights.

FAQs

Q: How long has Lora Webster been playing with the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team?
A: Lora Webster has been a dedicated member of the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team from the very beginning.

Q: How well did the U.S. Women’s team perform against Canada and Russia?
A: The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team won all their sets against both Canada and Russia.

Q: Has the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team ever won the ParaVolley World Championships?
A: No, the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team has finished as runners-up to China in the last two ParaVolley World Championships.

Q: How has the team’s bench strength improved over the years?
A: The team’s bench has become stronger than ever before, with every player making significant contributions.

Q: How has the sport of sitting volleyball evolved?
A: Sitting volleyball has progressed from limited movement to now incorporating intricate systems.

Conclusion

The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team continues to inspire with their dedication, perseverance, and exceptional performance. As they aim for the coveted ParaVolley World Championships title, they remain motivated by the pursuit of excellence. With their experienced veterans and a deep bench, the team is poised for continued success and the opportunity to leave their mark on the world of sitting volleyball.

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