Monday, 27 May 2024

Zach Upp Named USAV Male Sitting Player of Year

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 20, 2019) – Zach Upp (Bartlett, Illinois) has made significant strides in the world of sitting volleyball in 2019. At the age of 19, Upp has proven himself to be one of the best sitting volleyball players globally, leading the U.S. Men’s National Sitting Volleyball Team to a silver medal at the 2019 Parapan American Games. In recognition of his outstanding performance, Upp has been named the 2019 USA Volleyball Male Sitting Player of the Year. Additionally, Dan Regan (St. Louis, Missouri) has been awarded the 2019 USA Volleyball Male Sitting Most Improved Player of the Year.

Upp expressed his gratitude for this recognition, stating, “It feels amazing to be acknowledged for the hard work I have put in over the past few years. Our team is filled with incredible players, so it means a lot to be chosen. I am also extremely grateful to my coaches and teammates for pushing me to improve.”

Throughout 2019, Upp showcased his exceptional skills, scoring a team-leading 163 points. He started 18 out of 19 matches and played in 54 of the team’s 65 sets. Upp averaged an impressive 3.04 points per set, including 1.85 kills, 0.54 blocks, and 0.65 aces. He was also named the Best Server at the 2019 Parapan Am Games.

Greg Walker, the head coach for the U.S. Men’s National Sitting Volleyball Team, commended Upp for his remarkable performance, stating, “Zach had a fantastic year, stepping up and becoming a crucial player for us. I have enjoyed witnessing his progress as we move closer to qualifying for Tokyo 2020. He has garnered attention from the rest of the world as one of the top-performing athletes for the USA.”

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Upp’s success can be attributed to his competitive nature and diverse sports background. Prior to joining the U.S. Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team, he played standing volleyball for his high school, along with basketball, baseball, and golf. Upp’s teammates have played a significant role in boosting his confidence and improving his game, especially against opponents who are older and more experienced.

In addition to his athletic prowess, Upp has honed his skills as a blocker, utilizing his prosthetic arm effectively. Walker noted, “Zach is a huge offensive threat at the net and has shown significant improvement as a blocker. With better control and a better feel for his prosthetic arm, he is developing into one of the best servers in the world. If he continues to work hard, the sky is the limit for his success in 2020 as we strive towards qualifying for Tokyo 2020.”

Looking ahead, Upp and his teammates are preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Men’s Final Paralympic Qualification Tournament, which will take place from March 16-21 in Edmond, Oklahoma. Upp emphasized the team’s focus on consistency and intent with every touch of the ball. They are also working on finishing matches strong, as they have encountered difficulties in closing out games.

On a personal level, Upp is working on strengthening his right arm, a task made easier with access to resources he didn’t have during his high school sports career. He acknowledged the importance of professional trainers in his journey to improve his physical strength.

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In addition to Upp’s remarkable achievements, Dan Regan’s dedication to sitting volleyball has earned him the title of Most Improved Player of the Year. Regan, who lost his right leg above the knee in a boating accident, began his sitting volleyball journey as part of his physical therapy in 2006. He has since become one of the top players on the U.S. Men’s Sitting Team, receiving the USA Volleyball Male Sitting Player of the Year award in 2011. At 47 years old, Regan continues to push himself to improve his game.

Walker praised Regan’s commitment, stating, “Dan’s improvement is a culmination of hard work and dedication to our program’s philosophy and vision. The entire coaching staff is incredibly proud of him. We have seen significant changes in his physical and mental training over the past few years.”

Regan emphasized the importance of team cohesion and utilizing each player’s strengths as they prepare for the Paralympic Games in the summer. He believes that with proper preparation, execution of their game plan, and belief in themselves and their teammates, they can achieve their goal of qualifying.

Regan acknowledged that success in qualifying for the Paralympics relies on the collective effort of each player, both on and off the court. He emphasized the need for thorough analysis of upcoming competition, focusing on opponent tendencies and developing countermeasures. Regan is specifically working on improving his block recognition and becoming more aggressive from the service line.

The U.S. Men’s Sitting Team is determined to secure their place in the Paralympic Games and understands the importance of attention to detail and continuous improvement.


FAQs

1. What awards did Zach Upp and Dan Regan receive in 2019?
Zach Upp was named the 2019 USA Volleyball Male Sitting Player of the Year, while Dan Regan received the 2019 USA Volleyball Male Sitting Most Improved Player of the Year.

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2. What are some of Zach Upp’s achievements in sitting volleyball?
In 2019, Zach Upp led the U.S. Men’s National Sitting Volleyball Team to a silver medal at the Parapan American Games. He scored a team-leading 163 points and was named the Best Server at the tournament.

3. How has Zach Upp improved as a player?
Zach Upp has improved his blocking skills and become one of the best servers in the world. His competitive nature and the support of his teammates have contributed to his success.

4. What challenges does the U.S. Men’s Sitting Team face in their journey to qualify for the Paralympic Games?
The team is focused on consistency, finishing matches strong, and addressing the difficulty they face in closing out games. They are working on improving their performance in these areas.

5. How is Dan Regan improving his game?
Dan Regan is working on video analysis of upcoming competition, studying opponent tendencies, and practicing countermeasures. He is specifically working on block recognition and aggressiveness from the service line.


Conclusion

Zach Upp and Dan Regan have demonstrated exceptional skills and dedication to sitting volleyball. Upp’s recognition as the 2019 USA Volleyball Male Sitting Player of the Year is a testament to his hard work and the impact he has had on the U.S. Men’s National Sitting Volleyball Team. Regan’s title as the 2019 USA Volleyball Male Sitting Most Improved Player of the Year highlights his commitment and continuous efforts to enhance his game. Both players are crucial to the team’s journey towards qualifying for the Paralympic Games. With their determination and the support of their teammates, they are poised for success.