Navy sinks Marines for sitting volleyball gold medal

By Caryn Maconi | Oct. 02, 2014, 11:15 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – At the 2014 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte, the U.S. Navy captured its first-ever gold medal in sitting volleyball with a win over the Marines Thursday night (26-24, 20-25, 15-6).  

The victory was the first for Navy in the history of the Warrior Games. The Marines, meanwhile, were handed their first-ever defeat, as the USMC had won every previous sitting volleyball gold medal since the inaugural Warrior Games in 2010.  

The victory was a long time coming for Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sonny Lemerande, who has represented the Navy in sitting volleyball at all five Warrior Games to date.

“It was great to finally get gold and give the Marines their first loss in volleyball ever,” Lemerande said. “We don’t like short, quick matches – we like to drag it out. It’s more dramatic that way.”

The Marines didn’t let the win come easily, as the match was close throughout the first two sets. The teams were tied at 24-24 in the first set before Navy managed a 26-24 win. In the second set, the Marines rallied to a 25-20 victory, but Navy turned up the energy in the third and final set. Navy built an early lead and never let it go, coming away with a match-winning 15-6 victory.

Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd class Jacob Emmott was pleased with his team’s effort under pressure Thursday night.

“We’ve been waiting for this – we’ve always had this butting of heads with the Marines – all in good fun, of course,” Emmott, who is competing in his second Warrior Games, said. “We managed to keep our cool without a down, and that’s what it boils down to a lot of times in competition. You go through everything in training and it works well, but when it’s competition time you have to hold it together. I think we managed to keep our composure, and we had a great game.”

Two-hundred wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans are competing over six days of competition in the fifth annual Warrior Games. The 2014 Warrior Games is hosted by the USOC with support from Deloitte, the presenting sponsor, and other supporting partners including the Department of Defense, AT&T, BP, Dow, Semper Fi Fund, The Fisher House Foundation, The Daniels Fund and USO.

Friday marks the final day of competition at the 2014 Warrior Games, with shooting events scheduled throughout the day followed by the wheelchair basketball gold-medal game between Army and the Marines at 5:30 p.m. All of Friday’s competition will take place at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Admission is free and open to the public.

The closing ceremony of the 2014 Warrior Games and presentation for the Chairman’s Cup and Ultimate Champion awards will take place at halftime of the Navy v. Air Force football game on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

For more on the 2014 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte, visit