MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- In the first night of the Commanding General’s Intramural Volleyball League, Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School defeated Hospital in a best of three games match at the Combat Center’s West Gym Feb. 22.
Every Wednesday, the five volleyball teams aboard the Combat Center are scheduled to meet at the West Gym starting at 6 p.m. to compete for the top.
On opening night, MCCES was the only team to play two matches and ended the night undefeated. They took on Tanks in the first match, sending them home early by winning the first two games.
Headquarters Battalion showed no mercy to the Provost Marshal’s Office in the second match of the evening, dominating the court with two back-to-back wins.
The night was going quick with the first two matches over after only four games, but Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital showed up determined to give MCCES a challenge.
In the first few minutes of the game, there was no sign of who would take home the win. Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School’s Dave Moore spiked the ball in the center of the court, leaving Hospital diving unsuccessfully to the ground to keep MCCES from scoring the first point of the game. Sticking with what works, MCCES continuously aimed their powerful spikes in the holes left open by Hospital’s defense.
The points kept pouring in for MCCES, when Hospital’s Roman Blas couldn’t stay out of the net, giving away three points to add to MCCES’ 9-1 lead at the first timeout called in the game.
Not much changed after the timeout. Hospital managed to score four more points, but MCCES scored the remaining points to end the game 25-5.
There was a short break before the next game, giving Hospital a chance to work out their kinks.
“We’ve decided to communicate more this time,” said Hospital’s Amanda “Pretzel” Netzel. “We’re definitely coming back this time.”
Maybe losing badly in the first game was part of Hospital’s strategy, but the first timeout of the second game was called by MCCES when they realized they were losing 12-10.
Hospital realized blocking would be the key to shutting down MCCES’ offensive game. Kelly Netzel and Robert Stone stepped up the Hospital defense at the net, blocking multiple spike attemps from MCCES’ outside hitters.
Netzel’s prediction came true when Hospital defeated MCCES, 25-20, in the second game, leading to the tie-breaking third game.
The score stayed close, with neither team letting the other team get ahead by more than one point at any time in the first half of the game. Then, MCCES pulled out a secret weapon. While MCCES’ Robert Taylor faked oncoming spikes, Brian Gryn jumped up behind Taylor to deliver ground-shattering spikes, scoring the remaining points of the game.
The game ended 15-9, giving MCCES their second win of the evening.
“I had [substituted] in some more inexperienced players of the team in the second game,” Eric Aisoff, MCCES coach, explained about the loss. “But I put the more experienced players back in for the last game.”
“Our goal is to come out undefeated this year,” he said. “We’ve been practicing for three weeks before the season even started.”
Although Hospital went home defeated, spirits were still high.
“We’ll get better,” said Netzel. “We didn’t even practice, so now we know we have to.”
“Overall, we’ll be number one this season,” she predicted.