October 13 - America's women took an expected home triumph at the 2013 Para Volley Pan American Zonal Championships in Oklahoma but there was a Brazilian victory on the men's side as they defeated the hosts in the final.
In the women's event the United States were the strong favourites from the outset having won the silver medal at London 2012.
They duly went through the whole weekend undefeated by winning their final over Brazil 3-0 as they pulled away in the final set after battling hard in the opening two.
Heather Erickson proved the star of the show with 19 points, consisting of 12 kills, three blocks and a match-high four aces, while captain Katie Holloway added 17 points.
"I think our focus was exactly where it needed to be," Erickson said.
"It was important for us to try some different line-ups and to play a lot of people and it leaves us where we want to be going forward."
Brazil gained revenge on the men's event as the South Americans took a fiercely contested opening game before holding on to win 3-0.
By finishing in the top two positions in the three team tournament, both Brazilian and the US qualified for next year's World Championships to be held in the Polish town of Elblag.
This was something that satisfied America's head coach Bill Hamiter, despite the failure to gain a completely unblemished record.
"Our mission all along was to qualify both teams for the World Championships, so we're very pleased that we were able to do that," he said.
"I thought both teams played well throughout the weekend."
There was less success for the third team in the tournament, Canada, who despite battling hard finished third in both events and therefore missed out on World Championships qualification.
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October 2013: US start strongest at Para Volley Pan American Zonal Championships
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