Washington, D.C. - Eight months of fundraising. 50 hours of training camp. 37 hours of travel. 455 points scored. 30 plus new international friends. 1 shiny new silver medal.
The U.S. Women’s Deaf National Volleyball team finished 2nd in the 2012 Deaf World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria this past August. Falling to the defending World and Olympic Champions, Ukraine, the U.S. ladies walked away proudly with a silver medal, an improvement upon the Bronze in Argentina’s tournament in 2008.
Powered by new weapons in just about every position on the court, the U.S. dominated pool play as they dropped only one match to Japan, a strong defensive team the U.S. has traditionally struggled with.
Rookie Sarah Tubert also contributed immensely in her first overseas competition earning the Tournament Overall Best Server Award alongside Mounty-Weinstock, who took home the Tournament Overall Best Blocker Award.
Head Coach Lynn Ray Boren attributes the team’s improvement from last year to a have a much deeper and more versatile arsenal. “The one thing I can tell you is that I am pleased with the outcome at the World Deaf Volleyball Championship after the number of changing line ups. Everyone on the roster did do their parts by stepping up with the “out of the ordinary” obstacles that they have confronted. And I am blessed that I had a good depth that resulted playing in the championship match. Our hats go off to the Ukraine Volleyball National team for their top-notch performance, winning the World Deaf Volleyball championship two times in a row.” quoted by Coach Boren.
Pia Marie Paulone said, "Teams like Poland and Italy are starting to pull together young and dynamic players who will, without a question, turn into formidable competitors, and in a few years, it won't be just the usual top three or four."
Def. Hungary 3-0 (25-14, 25-9, 25-16)
Def. Israel 3-0 (25-6, 25-3, 25-8)
Def. Russia 3-0 (29-27, 25-11, 25-18)
Lost to Japan 2-3 (25-18, 14-25, 12-25, 25-22, 10-15)
Def. Argentina 3-0 (25-6, 25-9, 25-14)
Def. Russia 3-0 (25-12, 25-23, 25-17)
Lost to Ukraine 1-3 (25-27, 25-21, 27-25, 25-21)
While there may have been hours upon hours of practices and matches, the U.S. Women’s team didn’t only see the gyms and arenas of Sofia, Bulgaria. The team had the opportunity to explore the country. They visited downtown Sofia as well as socialized with the other competing teams. These ladies walked away with not only a Silver Medal, but also a network of new friends from across the world.
Next up for the U.S. Women's Deaf Team is the 2013 Deaflympics, which will also take place in Sofia, Bulgaria this upcoming summer. The team will continue to compete throughout the Spring in local tournaments throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia in preparation to take the Gold in the 2013 Deaflympics.