Sitting with their Laurels: Team USA Sitting Volleyball Bests Brazil to win Gold Medal

CALLAO DISTRICT, PERU — In science, the persistence of rest can be found in the form of sitting. It is only after sitting that one can find the kinetic energy needed to perform functions or “work”. If sitting volleyball is any indication of how science works, then it is an enigma, because the United States Women’s sitting volleyball teams were putting in WORK for their final match on Wednesday vs. Brazil. 

In the one previous match-up, Team USA lit up Brazil like fireworks on the fourth of July, taking three sets to one. The U.S. was only getting ready for the grand finale. 

Brazil would have the first possessional serve. And from there it was on like Donkey Kong. The United States got things started scoring five of the first seven before Brazil would take a time out. The teams returned to a long volley, taking the steam out of Brazil’s game plan early. The U.S. Sitting Volleyball team would be one step closer to the prize of gold, taking the frame 25-16 and going up 1-0.

During the period, #6 Heather Erickson played out of her skull, recording six of the team’s 25.  She would end with 17 points of her own. She was also crowned tournament MVP.

Team USA sets up for the spike against Brazil in the gold medal match on August 28, 2019 (PHOTO CREDIT: Shannon Galea)


“I thought she did an exceptional job tonight, they served her the first we played them and we thought they would again. She passed great as well as hit and block, and she was definitely on fire from the attack. It’s hard to stop us when you have her and three to four players on fire like that” said coach William Hamiter, praising Erickson.

The second set showed one thing, and that was that Brazil were sitting ducks. Although they tried, they never had the lead all set, and the U.S. was able to take the frame 25-19. In the period, Monique Burkland led all Team USA scorers with four points. However, Brazil did have a bright spot in the period, as Jani Freitas was a one-woman wrecking crew, earning 12 points in the frame.

“The first period, there were a little bit of nerves, which is pretty normal. Because we all love volleyball and we all want to perform so well.” said Nicole Nieves.


Team USA #16 Nicole Nieves lifts up squad morale, giving high-tens to Tournament MVP #6 Heather Erickson, #7 Monique  Burkland and Team Captain Katie Holloway. during the Finals match vs. Brazil. August 28, 2019 (PHOTO CREDIT: Shannon Galea) 

Nieves was a constant resource of energy, giving high-fives to everyone who would take them in the match.


“I definitely feel like my role on the team is to keep the energy high at all times,”

The United States never looked back. They came out strong in the third period and won the match on a spike fittingly from the MVP herself, Hannah Erickson. It was the perfect end to an undefeated run at the Parapan American Games. 

“I feel like we all were executing at a high level and everything was just staying together, so that was our game plan going in and that is what you saw out of us today.” said Captain Katie Holloway.

And then, there they stood sitting there, with gold around their necks. They were once again champions for the United States, a feeling that Team USA’s Lora Webster knows all too well at this point saying,

“It feels great you know, it felt like Rio, very reminiscent to that. When you hear the National Anthem it’s nice to hear that and I always get very emotional being on the top of the podium and it’s a feeling we don’t want to lose.”

The Lima 2019 Parapan American Games Women’s Sitting Volleyball Champions, Team USA, on August 28, 2019 (PHOTO CREDIT: Shannon Galea)

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