CALI, COLOMBIA – It was positioning day for the United States at the 2017 IWBF America’s Qualifier and a key game for the U.S. Women’s National Team as they needed a victory to ensure a top-four placement. With a 45-23 victory over Colombia, the U.S. Women have qualified for the 2018 IWBF World Championships in Hamburg, Germany, in August.
The U.S. Women have one more game left at the IWBF America’s Qualifier, against rival Canada that is scheduled for Tuesday, August 29 at 7 p.m. central time.
Sunday’s competition against host country Colombia was a defensive battle. Two-time U.S. Paralympian and gold medalist Desi Miller of Monroe, Washington, paced the squad today with 14 points. 2017 U.S. National Team rookies Lindsey Zurbrugg of Portland, Oregon, and Emily Oberst of Brookfield, Wisconsin, scored 8 and 7 points, respectively, rounding out the top three shooters on the day.
The United States narrowly won the rebound game, 28-23, and force 14 Colombia turnovers. On the day, Team USA shot 48 percent overall.
Lina Medina for Colombia was the leading scorer with 12 points, and Galdys Gomez put back 9 points.
“The team played well today and it was a good finish to the first round of the tournament,” said U.S. Women’s Head Coach Trooper Johnson of San Lorenzo, California. “It is always interesting when you play a team in their home country. Colombia came out with passion and played a very inspired game. Even as we started building a lead, the Colombian team continued to pressure us on both ends of the court. We ran several lineup combinations and tried working on specific things that will hopefully help us in our next game against Canada. We have one more day to prepare before our final game here in Colombia.”
The America’s Qualifier is a classification event that determines who will compete in the 2018 IWBF World Championship in Hamburg, Germany in August. The U.S. Women’s team will be competing against Argentina, Canada, Colombia and Brazil for a spot in Germany. Team USA must finish in the top four teams in order to qualify for the world championships.
The bronze-medal game will feature Brazil and Argentina, and is scheduled for August 29 at 3 p.m. central.
NWBA Hall of Famer Trooper Johnson of San Lorenzo, California, serves as the U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach. He is assisted by Amy Spangler of Madison, Wisconsin, and Adam Kramer of Northport, Alabama. Also joining the team is athletic trainer Karla Franconi of Lexington, Kentucky, and Team Leader Kearstin Gehlhausen of Denver, Colorado.
This is the first step for the U.S. Women’s Team as they are focused on advancing through the quadrennial to defend its Rio Paralympic gold medal in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Last September, Team USA also managed to break two of their own records (most points in a game and largest margin of victory) en route to the gold medal going 7-0 in the process.
IWBF America’s Qualifier
August 23-30, 2017
Results (USA Record: 3-1)
USA def. Brazil, 55-53
Canada def. USA, 69-48
USA def. Argentina, 64-38
USA def. Colombia, 45-23
IWBF America’s Qualifier Medal Rounds
8/29 3 PM, Women’s Bronze-medal game – Brazil vs. Argentina
8/29 7 PM, Women’s Gold-medal game – USA vs. Canada