October 11 - The United States sitting volleyball team started the strongest at the 2013 ParaVolley Pan American Zone Championships held at the University of Oklahoma with victories for both their male and female outfits.
The three team competition consists of just Canada, Brazil and the US and provides an opportunity for the top two countries to qualify for next year's world championships in Elblag in Poland.
The men's squad swept aside Canada 25-19, 25-21, 25-14, Eric Duda leading the way with 14 points, before the women were forced to battle far harder for a 3-1 victory over Brazil.
After winning the first set 26-24, they dropped the second 17-25 before emerging the stronger to take the next two 25-15 and 25-17.
The American women won a silver medal at London 2012 behind China so will be hoping to be a class above their rivals ahead of the greater tests to come next year.
It was a newcomer in Katie Holloway who scored highest with 13 points, just ahead of London 2012 veteran Heather Erickson with 12.
Bill Hamiter, coach of both the men and women's teams, was delighted with the success.
"Anytime you can get two wins, it's a good day," he said.
"I thought the men played well and we improved on our passing.
"On the women's side, we struggled early, but that team is full of competitors and after the first two sets, we came out and took care of business."
Times were much harder for Canada on the opening day as their men's defeat to the USA was followed by another 3-0 loss to Brazil.
Matches continue over the weekend before the tournament comes to a head with finals taking place on Sunday (October 13).
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