SAMSUN, Turkey - The United States of America women's deaf volleyball team returned to the Deaflympics medal stand in 2017 as they earned bronze medals after a 3-0 sweep against Ukraine on July 28 here in Turkey. Team USA won 25-16, 25-12 and 25-22 to secure the 1,000th medal given to the USA at the Deaflympics since 1924.
Team USA finished fourth in the 2013 Deaflympics in Sofia, Bulgaria, and won silver at the 2009 Deaflympics in Taipei, Taiwan.
Gallaudet women's volleyball head coach Lynn Ray Boren guided Team USA during the multi-week tournament (July 19-28). Team USA posted an overall 5-1 record after it won Pool B with a perfect 3-0 mark. They defeated Turkey in straight sets (25-14, 25-16, 25-12) in the quarterfinals before they lost 3-1 in an upset loss to Italy in the semifinals (26-24, 27-29, 24-26, 20-25).
"Hats off to this team of players, who only stayed together for a week before going to the Deaflympics. It was amazing to see how they developed into a team and reach their goal of winning a medal," said Boren. "It was a tough moment to lose to Italy in the semifinals but we were able to recover dominate Ukraine in the bronze medal match. It was great to close on a high note with a medal. They know we are still a gold medal worthy team."
Rising senior Darriyan Thomas and rising sophomore Adele Daniels were the only current Bison women's volleyball players on Team USA while five former Bison players (Kali Frowick, Ludmila Mounty-Weinstock, Katelyn Reese, Sarah Tubert and Ann Whited) helped the red, white and blue. The other members of Team USA included Megan Dippold who attended Gallaudet, Cali Bunn (Hawaii), Abby Garrity (Idaho State) and Jamie Kons (LaVerne). Team USA's coaching staff consisted of Boren, former Gallaudet standout Danielle Morris, John Kessenich while GU graduate Colleen Farrell served as manager and former Gallaudet coach Patrick O'Brien served as Team Director.
"It was a honor to play for Team USA and to play with and against deaf elite players from all over the world. It is a lifetime experience that I will always cherish," said Daniels. "Representing the USA was humbling and inspiring. It even made me look forward for the upcoming volleyball season at Gallaudet!"
Boren is now 46-10 in 10 years leading the USA Women's Deaf National Volleyball Team.
"I am thankful to my coach, who convinced me to go to the Deaflympics. Without Coach Boren I would be regretting not earning a bronze medal for Team USA," said Thomas. "This is a special memory that I will never forget. I can not wait for the next four years to try and help Team USA get gold!"
NOTE: The U.S. Deaf Men's Volleyball Team finished eighth overall at the 2017 Deaflympics.
U.S. Deaf Women's Volleyball Results at 2017 Deaflympics in Samsun, Turkey
Match 1: USA 3, Poland 1 (25-16, 21-25, 25-13, 25-22)
Match 2: USA 3, Ukraine 1 (25-18, 22-25, 25-20, 25-16)
Match 3: USA 3, Brazil 0 (25-9, 25-14, 25-15)
Match 4: USA 3, Turkey 0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-12) - Quarterfinal
Match 5: Italy 3, USA 1 (26-24, 27-29, 24-26, 20-25) - Semifinal
Match 6: USA 3, Ukraine 0 (25-16, 25-12, 25-22) - Bronze Medal
Photo courtesy of Marcelo Tubert & Andrew Zernovoj