2014 Warrior Games

Sitting volleyball action fires up Army team

September 30, 2014

By Gloria Montgomery,
Warrior Transition Unit, Fort Hood

Army veteran Sgt. Alexander Shaw, Clarksville, Tenn., saves a point for the Army sitting volleyball team during Monday night 2014 Warrior Game competition at the Olympic Training Center’s Sports Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
U.S. Army photo by Gloria Montgomery

Colorado Springs, Colorado – The Army sitting volleyball team began the second day of the 2014 Warrior Games by defeating the Special Operations team in two neck to neck battles, but ultimately being soundly defeated by the Marines in the second match of the evening’s competition.

In the first game with Special Operations, the two competitors were closely matched with each team swapping points until the Army broke a 24-24 tie by winning the last two points on serves by Staff Sgt. Brian Boon, ending the game with a 24-26 win over Special Operations. In the second game, the highlight of the match was an extended rally that lasted more than a minute and had the crowd of several hundred at the Olympic Training Center’s Sports Center standing and cheering until Special Operations rallied to win the point.

Those kinds of rallies, said Boone, who is assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, are the coveted plays that excite the team.

“That’s the good stuff,” he said. “I just love to play that instead of the typical slap ball.”

Even though the point was lost, the crowd noise and Army cheerleading section fired up the Army team.

“The crowd is like a second command on the court,” said retired Sgt. Delvin Maston, Birmingham, Ala.,. “Knowing the crowd is pulling for you always makes you play a little harder.”

The Army team went on to win the match by defeating Special Operations 19-25 with serves by Army veteran, Sgt. Matthew Spang, who now lives in Colorado Springs, Colo.

In the second match with the Marines, the Army struggled and was soundly defeated by the Marines 25-8. In the second game, Army was down by 13 points but rallied to a two-point deficit. In the end, the rally wasn’t enough to overcome the Marines with the Army losing the match 25-20.

The stinging loss hurt said veteran Staff Sgt. Alexander Shaw, Clarksville, Tenn. “We needed this to push our confidence to the next level. It was a really hard loss.”

“Hope is not lost,” said Staff Sgt. Monica Southall, an Army veteran from Henrico, Va. “We are now going to focus on the next game and dominate from there.”

The next game for Army in the round robin tournament is tonight with Navy. The 2014 Warrior Games is a competition for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans hosted by the U.S. Olympic Training Center and sponsored by Deloitte and supported by the Department of Defense. Competition runs Sept. 28-Oct, 4.