MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Headquarters Battalion won three matches, back-to-back, in the Commanding General’s Intramural Volleyball League April 5 at the Combat Center’s West Gym.
These were the last matches of the season before the playoffs, where all teams are scheduled to face off to determine the top team of this year.
The night began when Hospital stepped onto the court to match up against HQBN and ended quickly with a HQBN win, 25-7, in the first game, and 25-13, in the second game. Hospital finished the regular season with a 1-7 record.
Hospital won their first match of the season against Provost Marshal’s Office, March 29.
Provost Marshal’s Office didn’t show up to the court the following week. They forfeited their match against Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School, bumping up the 1st Tank Battalion against HQBN double-header.
In the first match, HQBN won two out of three games. The first game was quick and painful for Tanks. Headquarters Battalion won 25-8.
In the next game, Tanks seemed to come back and take over. They took the win, 25-16. But they quickly handed the match back to HQBN, losing the third game, 15-7.
Round two began with a serve by Tanks going directly into the net, giving HQBN the first point within seconds of the start of the first game.
Headquarters Battalion’s defense was on point as they repeatedly blocked kill attempts from Tanks.
Tanks tried to stay in the game, but the spikes by HQBN’s Clayton Dooley had them diving to the ground and digging up nothing, giving HQBN the lead throughout the game.
The game ended with a HQBN victory, 25-21.
The second game started out looking like a Tanks win, but midway through the game, HQBN stepped back and unleashed Dooley to spike their way to victory.
The game ended quickly and HQBN won, 25-17.
“The games tonight were great,” said HQBN’s Robert Cortez. “We were all psyched about the outcome.
“There were a couple of changes we made before tonight,” he continued. “A couple new players, but it didn’t affect us in a negative way.”
Cortez has noticed a difference in the team since the beginning of the season that might have helped their game, he said.
“We have a stronger bond now,” he explained. “We almost know what each other are thinking and we can tell who and when someone is going to go for the ball.”
Headquarters Battalion has high expectations for the playoffs, said Cortez.
“Anything’s possible,” he said. “We have a good chance of being the number one team.”
Tanks felt like they finally got a challenge this season playing against HQBN, said Tanks’ head coach Steven Santana.
“They played a hell of a game,” he said. “It’s going to be fun to play them again in the playoffs.”
Santana didn’t expect to lose after defeating MCCES the week prior, but knows they can come back in time for the playoffs, he said.
“We need to regain focus on the fundamentals,” he explained. “We let one man beat us. That’s all Headquarters has, and we’ll figure out how to beat him by next week.”