The United States Paralympic women’s sitting volleyball team announced its official Paralympic Games roster Wednesday and a familiar name was listed.
Lexi Shifflett makes Paralympic Games debut in Rio de Janeiro this year as the Waseca 2016 grad was officially announced to the team. Shifflett, who had part of her right foot amputated as an infant, began training with the U.S. women’s sitting volleyball team in 2013 and has since qualified for the team.
The 2014 grad was a setter for the Bluejays team during her high school career and joins one of the most experience teams the USA has sent to the Paralympic games.
““We have experience across the board at every position and that’s a great thing for us,” coach Bill Hamiter said in a statement. “The team reflects the balance we’ve tried to have this quad and really shows the quality of the players who have come in.”
Shifflett was awarded the 2016 Wilma Rudolph Award as part of the 2016 Minnesota National Girls and Women in Sports Day earlier this year and was named the 2015 USA Volleyball Female Sitting Team Most Improved Player. The 2014 grad won two gold medals in 2013 for the national team as well.
The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team, currently ranked No. 2 in the world by World ParaVolley, won silver in 2008 and 2012, falling to China each time. The team won bronze in 2004, when women’s sitting volleyball made its Paralympic debut.
Before departing for the Paralympics, the team will play in the Dutch Tournament in Assen, Netherlands July 1-3, facing world No. 1 China, Russia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Rwanda and Netherlands. All except Slovenia and Netherlands are Paralympic-qualified.
The U.S. women’s sitting team paralympic schedule has not yet been released. The Opening Ceremony is scheduled for Sept. 7; the sitting volleyball competition runs Sept. 9 through Sept. 17. The U.S. will face China, Iran and Rwanda in the round-robin pool play tournament.