COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Marines defeated Army in two sets (25-20, 25-14) in a rematch of the 2012 Warrior Games gold medal game Monday at the 2013 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte in Colorado Springs, Colo., at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
The Marines entered into the match confident after defeating Air Force (25-15, 25-16), while Army was reeling from an upset to the British Armed Forces, losing two of the three sets (14-25, 25-19,15-11).
"U.S. Army and Marines, it's always going to be big, it's always going to be tough," said Army sergeant Chad McDuffee (Wahiawa, Hawaii). "I think we might have look ahead earlier — looked past the UK and looking towards the Marines, that loss kind of led us into a bad situation. We've got to get right mentally."
During set breaks, the court was filled with the booms of red colored Marine thundersticks and cheers of "Make us proud."
"It's always a hard fought battle with those guys [Marines]," said Army sergeant Ryan McIntosh (San Antonio, Texas). "It's always the main event, the crowd's always here, it's always loud, it's just ... it's war."
"We got down on ourselves, but we'll come back," he said.
After the first set Marine supporters jokingly jabbed at Army with chants of "go home Army."
Retired Marine sergeant Stephen Lunt (Moncks Corner, S.C.) was a defensive staple, blocking many Army balls along the net.
"Last year was the first year we lost the gold medal in volleyball, and we lost it to them [Army] so it was definitely high intensity for us," Lunt said, calling the game redemption from 2012. "I think everyone tries to be as intense as possible."
In other matches around the gym, Navy won a hard three set battle against Special Operations, winning 2-1 (25-19, 23-25, 15-9). Navy then lost in their second match-up of the day to the British Armed Forces in another three set bout (25-15, 11-25, 9-15).
SOCOM finished their night with a 2-1 victory over Air Force (19-25, 25-11, 15-11).
Games continue Tuesday with the Marines facing Special Operations, Army faces Navy and Air Force faces British Armed Forces. All remaining Warrior Games competitions take place at the United States Air Force Academy.
Admission is free to the Warrior Games, a competition for 260 wounded, ill and injured service members representing five U.S. teams and the British Armed Forces.
For more on the 2013 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte, visit teamusa.org/warriorgames/.