Navy opens Warrior Games presented by Deloitte 1-1 in sitting volleyball

By Spencer Oshman | Sept. 28, 2014, 7:30 p.m. (ET)

Navy fell to Marines 25-7, 25-20
Navy fell to the Marines 2-0 on Day 1 of the Warrior Games presented by Deloitte. 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. ― Day 1 of the 2014 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte provided a packed house of enthusiastic friends and family cheering on their respective teams in sitting volleyball.

Navy started off strong with a two-game landslide victory over the United States Special Operations Command. They used impeccable spacing and great ball movement to overcome SOCOM (0-2) 25-13 in the first game and 25-14 in the second.

Team Captain John Kremer (Oak Harbor, Washington) led way for Navy providing consistent sets and imperative communication for his team.

“Everybody knows their position and plays their position well,” Kremer said. “We are looking to do the same thing moving forward. We want to come out and dominate the game, try to eliminate a lot of the errors we had in the first game.”

Navy’s second match, however, would prove much more challenging against a fresh Marine Corps team backed by a herd of thundering fans in the crowd.

After trading points back-and-forth during the first few minutes of the match tied at 5-5, Marine Sergeant Rafael Cervantes (San Diego, California) took a moment to gather his squad to talk strategy.

Cervantes told his team “we have to finish strong. It doesn’t matter how far up we are, we are down no matter what. We have to kill every ball and not give them anything easy.”

The Marines did just that, allowing only two more Navy points the rest of the way to a 25-7 Marine victory.

Game 2 would prove to be much more challenging for the Marines, who made critical errors down the stretch, allowing Navy to crawl back into the game. With Navy down two points, Marines middle blocker Jorge Salazar (Delano, California) used three powerful kills to put Navy away 25-20, sealing the Marine Corps victory.

The Marines (1-0) have a double-header Monday, facing an undefeated Air Force (2-0) at 7:30 p.m., followed by Army (0-1) immediately after the first game’s end.

Not all hope is lost for Navy (1-1), pushing forward for a top ranking in sitting volleyball.

“We’ve got to reduce the number of errors, and folks have got to know where they are supposed to be on the floor,” Navy Head Coach Rick Mullane said. “We need to focus on what happened here tonight, and let’s not make the same mistakes tomorrow.”

Navy will match up with Air Force Monday night at U.S. Olympic Training Center, Sports Center 2, following the first sitting volleyball matches at 7:30 p.m. Admission to all competitions is free and open to the public.

For more on 2014 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte, visit teamusa.org/warriorgames/.