MARINE CORPS BASE TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Six teams competed in four double elimination tournament matches May 26 in the Commanding General’s Intramural Volleyball League at the East Gym here.
The first game of the night pitted Hospital against Tanks, ending in Tanks victories for both games, 25-15 and 25-13.
“We played one of our better team games tonight,” said Christopher J. Willenbecher, one of the key players of the night for the Tanks team. “We didn’t make a lot of stupid mistakes. The last game we were dead, we just weren’t playing as a team and I think we really came together well tonight. Our biggest rival right now is definitely MCCES, they are going to be tough to beat.”
Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School took their shots against Installation Personnel Administration Center during the second game of the evening.
MCCES proved the victor both times, overpowering IPAC with 25-12 and 25-20 victories.
“[MCCES] has height on their side,” said Christopher G. Ballard of IPAC. “We fight hard, but those few inches can mean a lot.”
Third in line to duke it out were Headquarters Battalion and Tanks again.
In the first round, the ball never seemed to touch the floor as the two battled it out to make the match up the longest game of the night, with Tanks winning 25-15.
By game two, neither team seemed to be giving up much ground as they echoed points back and forth on the scoreboard. With a final score by Davis S. Gibbs, a relatively new player to the HQBN team, HQBN took the game with a score of 25-23 to tie and send the teams into the deciding third game.
HQBN played hard but could not keep their early lead as Tanks’ John L. Raineri lead that game for a Tanks win of 15-6.
“Tonight we had some changes in our lineup again,” said HQBN coach Patrick A Kline. “I brought in a basketball player and a soccer player, who are both very athletic, and I think we played very well. But they are new players and I’m throwing them into a game that has higher-caliber formation and execution so I think with practice they will do fine. ”
“Taking a match to three games is always a good sign, and we put a scare into the other team,” Kline continued. “Next week, I plan on making it an all-nighter and I’m hoping we’ll make it into the final game championship.”
The final game of the night was a showdown between the losing teams of the first and second games of the night.
Hospital and IPAC fought to get out of the last place seat for the finals, their match spilling over into a decisive third round.
IPAC won the first game 25-21 with Hospital coming back for a 26-24 win in game two. The third game left IPAC in the dust, however, as they could not fill the point void and Hospital took the win 15-7.
“It’s been a rough season for us,” said Ballard. “What makes things even more difficult is that we are not able to practice like we should. With more practice time we should be a lot better next season.”
The final games to name the league champions will play June 2 at the East Gym. MCCES will play Tanks at 5 p.m., Hospital will face off with HQBN at 6 p.m., and the loser of the MCCES vs. Tanks game will take on the winner of the Hospital vs. HQBN game at 7 p.m. The final championship game will play at 8 p.m. and an awards ceremony will be held shortly after the match.