2014 Warrior Games

Army will compete for bronze in sitting volleyball

October 1, 2014

By Gloria Montgomery,
Warrior Transition Unit, Fort Hood

Colorado Springs, Colorado – It was an evening of heartbreak for Army during the third night of the 2014 Warrior Games sitting volleyball competition. Back to back losses to Navy and the Marines forced Army out of gold medal contention and they will next compete for the bronze medal at the Olympic Training Center’s Sports Center.

“It’s a game of inches,” said Sgt. Delvin Maston, Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. “Sometimes six inches our way, and sometimes six inches the other team’s way,” said a dejected, but hopeful, Matson on the two losses.

In the best two out of three, Navy defeated Army 25-19. In the second game, Army stunted Navy momentum by soundly defeating the blue and gold 25-17. Tied at one game each, Navy inched by Army 15-12 in the tie-breaking game to win the match, giving Army its third defeat in the round-robin competition.

“We know what we need to work on and how to fix it,” said Sgt. Scotty Hasting, Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Riley, Kansas, who attributed the third game loss to mistakes. “We just made one more mistake than they did.”

Army next moved to semi-finals with the Marines, who had routed Army the previous night. In the first game, Army couldn’t match an early six-point deficit although Army’s heroic volleying led to a three-point rally. The battle for points went south from there with Army losing by six in the 25-19 loss.

In game two, Army took an early lead with Marines trailing by a point in most of the match until the Semper Fi team took advantage of a series of Army double-tapping, net violations and out of bound returns, winning the game and the match 25-18.

“We tried our best, but, at the end of the day, they won the game,” said Staff Sgt. Monica Southall, an Army veteran from Henrico, Va. “We’re still in medal contention, and we’re going to play 100 percent in our next game and get that bronze medal.”

Army Coach Joe Malone had nothing but praise for the team. “We teach them how to play the game of volleyball within the rules, and when your team is executing really well, it’s really tough to handle the losses,” he said. “But it is what it is, and we’ll come back and fight tomorrow.”

Even though Army left court play with two losses, Staff Sgt. Brian Boone, Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, remained upbeat about competition play.

“It happens,” he said on the loss, “but for me, as long as we keep on getting better, it’s still kind of a win.”

The Army next plays Air Force for the bronze medal competition tonight.

The 2014 Warrior Games is a competition for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans hosted by the U.S. Olympic Training Center, sponsored by Deloitte and supported by the Department of Defense. More than 200 injured, ill and wounded military athletes and veterans are competing in this year’s event in Paralympics sports that include archery, swimming, shooting, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball and track and field events. Competition runs Sept. 28-Oct, 4.