The Edmond Sun

Sports

June 26, 2014

U.S. women take silver, men place 10th at sitting volleyball world championship

ELBLAG, Poland — The U.S. women’s national sitting volleyball team continued its elite-level success at the 2014 ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball World Championships last week in Elblag, Poland, coming away with a silver-medal finish. It was the team’s fourth straight silver in major international competition.

The women’s squad cruised to the finals match, defeating all five opponents in pool play and sweeping Russia in the semifinals before falling to China 23-25, 25-22, 19-25, 25-21, 17-15. The U.S. women also took silver in the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games, as well as the 2010 World Championships, held on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma.          

By advancing to the finals, the women secured a berth in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.          

“It wasn’t really our mindset at all to qualify for Rio. We knew we would have plenty of opportunity to do so. Our single objective was to win gold and become world champions. Even though we are disappointed with the silver medal, it’s still a huge accomplishment and we see that we continue to set ourselves up for long-term success,” said coach Bill Hamiter.          

The men’s team finished pool play 2-3 and fell to the Netherlands in the ninth place game 21-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-18. The U.S. men have yet to qualify for the 2016 Paralympic Games.  

“I think our experience was a success over the past two weeks, even though we didn’t finish as high as we would have liked. I saw many good things happen with the team and the improvements that we’ve been making. As we move forward I know that we will be stronger because of the experiences gained from Poland. I am excited to get the players back and start working on the small issues that will make a big impact on our world standings,” said coach Quinton Kraeer.

The University of Central Oklahoma is an official U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site and is the host training site for men’s and women’s sitting volleyball. Athletes can train for Olympic volleyball and any Paralympic sport at the university. Currently, Central hosts resident athletes in the Paralympic sports of sitting volleyball, archery, track and field and powerlifting, as well as Olympic taekwondo.

For more information on Central’s Olympic and Paralympic programs, visit www.ucotrainingsite.com.

 

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