TOKYO, Japan— The U.S. Sitting Volleyball Team worked hard to catch up with China, but the Chinese team’s disciplined defense and excellent execution assured the Chinese kept one to five points in the lead throughout the entire match. Three sets won in a row later, and China claimed victory over the number one ranked team in the world.
“It’s very disappointing, but we’ve been here before and we know we can come back from this,” said #7 Monique Matthews.
Matthews also led the match in points, scoring 11 overall for the USA Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team.
Team captain Kathryn Holloway, who scored 10 points overall in the match, said there were several moments in the match where they’d come within one or two points of their opponents, but then there would be an error or a call made that didn’t go their way.
“Those were big pivotal points of momentum, and volleyball is a game of momentum,” said Holloway. “China had momentum pretty much the entire match.”
Holloway is still proud with the team’s comfort in playing, and knows that they’re talented, but they just didn’t have the best game.
Lora Webster, #1 on the team, said that they can admit they weren’t their best selves during the match, but that there was nothing particular on the match that they didn’t have answers to or weren’t familiar with how to handle. It was more a matter of “sometimes a team brings it, sometimes they don’t.”
Either way, she says they try not to dwell on losses and focus on their next match instead, which in this case is with Russia.
“The most important thing is that we never collapse as a team, and that speaks volumes about who our team is,” said Webster. “Although each of us were struggling individually at different times, it was never the team as a collective.”
She’s ready to shake it off, and she has faith in the team.
“We never gave up on each other, and we just walked off the court the twelve of us, and that’s how we’ll walk back in in two days,” said Webster.
Holloway also feels her team is ready to take on tomorrow’s match.
“We know Russia, we’ve played them so many before,” said Holloway. “I still feel pretty confident that everyone is going to bounce back pretty well.”