COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The floor of the stadium shook and the cheers from the audience filled the room with excitement as the Marine Corps and Air Force teams took to the volleyball court on Sept. 29 during the 2014 Warrior Games hosted here at the United States Olympic Training Center.
Both teams experienced two wins, no losses the day before, and today, they stand against each other, with the confidence that they would emerge victorious from this match.
Both teams struggled to keep their leads. With each point, the court trembled with the sounds of cheering fans. Air Force pulled ahead, leading half way through the game 19-10, but the Marines were not beaten yet. After one last timeout, the Marines came back and took the first game with a score of 25-23.
“We knew it was going to be a fight going into the match and that was exactly what we got,” said Kari Miller, the assistant coach of the Air Force volleyball team.
The second match pushed both teams to their breaking points with a constant change of one-point leads. It wasn’t until the last five points that the Marines gave everything they had and winning the match 25-20.
“They [The Air Force Team] play with intention,” said Brent Petersen, coach of the Marine Corps volleyball team. “They do not just slap the ball around. They’re a tough team to beat, and it came down to who made less mistakes. The Marines have such a confidence that it just overwhelms the other team. I thought they were a great team before and I thought they were a great team after.”
According to Petersen, there were no losers during this game, because both teams demonstrated that their injuries do not hinder them, in fact, it only pushes them to try harder than ever before.
“It’s about getting all of the guys out here and showing them that they can still be great at something and that their injuries do not stop them from being the best,” said Miller.
After the game both teams showed amazing sportsmanship by shaking hands, complementing each other and admiring each other’s skills on the court.
“They were an amazing team -- they had great ball control and good back roll player,” said Zachary Blair, a Marine Corps volleyball team player. “We are definitely going to meet them again in the gold medal match.”