By Sgt. Michael S. Cifuentes , Headquarters Marine Corps
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The All-Marine sitting volleyball team squashed the hype from the Army during their first matchup May 17 during the 2011 Warrior Games at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The Marines won in a best-of-three game series that marked the first faceoff of the sitting volleyball round robin event.
The hype and rivalry began at the Inaugural Warrior Games in May 2010 when the Marines beat the Army in the final sitting volleyball game, culminating last year’s Warrior Games.
This year, the rivalry continued with some friendly exchanges of smack-talk between Marines and Soldiers during the game — some talk coming from the day of the Warrior Games’ opening ceremony.
The All-Army team took the lead in the best-of-three set when they beat the Marines 27-25 in the first game.
As the Army celebrated their sting ecstatically, the Marines regrouped with some helping words from head coach Brent Peterson.
“You talk about teamwork, you talk about camaraderie, you talk about the will – it’s all right here in this game,” Peterson said. “We’ve trained for this since February. Whoever wants the win will take it.”
The Marines retorted to the Army’s first win with a solid 25-16 victory in the second game, and a 15-10 victory for the tie-breaker and overall game win.
Lance Cpl. Joshua Wege was a proud volleyball victor. He said the game was a makeup for the loss he and the All-Marine wheelchair basketball team took just earlier in the evening. Wege and several Marines served as vital players in both games.
“It feels great to throw one back at [the Army],” said Lance Cpl. Jese Schag, an animated force in sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball. “They were a solid team. The win feels great and I’m pumped to keep going.”
Just like the wheelchair basketball event, teams play four matches operating in a round-robin format. Teams will then be seeded to play for bronze and gold medals.
The Marines took on the Special Operations Command team right after defeating the Army, and won in stride in just two matches.
The Marines are scheduled to take on the Air Force team May 18 and the Navy/Coast Guard team May 19 in sitting volleyball.
Marine veteran Cpl. Savage Margaf of the sitting volleyball team said there’s a lot of excitement in this event, and they’re going to continue playing their game for the remainder of the Warrior Games.
“There’s no holding back — no mercy,” she said.