Maj. Thomas Davis, veteran Anthony Pone and Sgt. Delvin Maston talk after a point on Sunday against Special Operations at the 2013 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte. On Wednesday, Army plays Marines for the sitting volleyball gold medal.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. ― Marine Corps will take on Army for the sitting volleyball gold medal at the 2013 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte in Colorado Springs, Colo., after each had two wins Tuesday at the United States Air Force Academy.
Marines (5-0) remained undefeated through pool play with a win over Special Operations 2-0 (25-11, 25-19) then secured a spot in the gold medal game against by defeating Navy 2-0 (25-15, 25-10) in the first round of playoffs. Army succeeded over Navy 2-0 (25-18, 25-14) and British Armed Forces 2-0 (25-12, 25-23), a team that beat them on Monday.
With the losses, Navy will play the British Armed Forces fell out of contention for the top spot on the podium but will play for the bronze medal at the Cadet Gym. The final is at Clune Arena.
Admission is free for the Warrior Games, which is a competition for 260 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans.
In an atmosphere that could have been mistaken for a European soccer game, if not for the prosthetic legs and wheelchairs strewn about the arena, Army spectators could be heard from outside the gym cheering on their branch, although interrupted by strong cheers from the British Armed Forces and Marine supporters.
“It’s a great feeling even if I couldn't hear myself trying to shout commands to the team,” said Army Sgt. Monica Southall (Henrico, Va.). “I love how they get so into the games and support us so well.”
The fans continued to grow louder as the close match between British Armed Forces came down to final points. With several tie points during the second set, Army was up by two points.
Army touched it over for a final win of 25-23, a clutch close to the exhilarating match.
“I was really glad we were able to bring it back at the end and win,” said Southall. “I can’t wait to play the Marines; they are great competitors and make the game very exciting.”
Army was playing for redemption after an unexpected upset to the British Armed Forces on Monday, losing 2-1 (14-25, 25-19, 15-11). The Marines also beat Army 2-0 (25-19, 25-14) on Monday.
Army Sgt. Ryan McIntosh (San Antonio, Texas), who is competing in several sports, and won three track and field medals earlier in the day, concurred in the anticipation to come up against the Marines in the medal game tomorrow.
“Competition against the Marines is always tough, so we have to play with all our hearts and minds going into it,” he said.
As Army topped the British Armed Forces, the Marines ended their night 2-0 on the other side of Cadet Gym, with a solid 25-10 second set win over the Navy. The Marines started the night with a win over Special Operations.
One of the Marine’s best point earners was hitter veteran Sgt. Steven Lunt (Moncks Corner, S.C.), who’s hard-hitting spikes helped keep up the team morale.
“I just try to make the best decisions for the team,” said Lunt. “And tomorrow, when we go up against the Army, we just have to play our game and concentrate on the great match up.”
Lunt’s mother said seeing her son play after competing in multiple sports in high school is one of the best Mother’s Day presents she could receive, whether they win Wednesday or not.
Ryan McIntosh echoed Lunt's mother's words.
“These games stand for more than winning, it goes to show wounded, ill and injured service members that they can do anything if they will it.”
Complete Tuesday results:
For more on the 2013 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte, visit teamusa.org/warriorgames/.