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Navy Men, Air Force Women Take Volleyball Crown

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 22, 1998 – Navy men used the home court advantage to post an impressive 6-0 record to win the 1998 Armed Forces Volleyball Championships May 6-8 at the Navy Seabee Base, Port Hueneme, Calif.

In the women's competition, Air Force volleyballers beat Army 15-12 and 15-7 in a best-of-three tie-breaker to capture first place. The two squads had finished 5-1 in regular play. Navy took third place with a 2-4 record, and the Marine Corps was fourth with a 0-6 record.

Air Force men took second place with a 4-2 record and were followed by Army, 2-4, and the Marines, 0-6.

In final-day action, Air Force men defeated Army, 7-15, 15-9, 15-9 and 15-5. The Navy then topped the Marines, 14-16, 15-6, 15-9 and 15-4, and the Army, 10-15, 10-15, 15-6, 15-9 and 15-11. Air Force slammed Marine Corps, 12-15, 15-8, 15-10 and 15-10.

Navy women defeated Marine Corps, 15-5, 15-8, 15-10 and 15-10; Army got past Air Force, 15-8, 14-16, 15-7 and 15-11; Air Force crushed Marine Corps, 15-4, 15-4 and 15-6; and Army defeated Navy, 15-7, 15-2 and 15-5.

"California is known for its volleyball and, boy, did the fans appreciate the level of this tournament," said Fred Morgan, Port Hueneme's athletic director. "It was a great championship series, with many fantastic active duty athletes." He said an All-Armed Forces team was chosen after the tournament to compete May 23-30 in the U.S. nationals in Tucson, Ariz.

Navy Lt. Thomas Kait and Petty Officer 1st Class Randy Mindar, Air Force 1st Lt. Ryan Turner and Staff Sgt. Kelly Bronson and Army Sgt. Carins Beattie and Spec. Richard Hudson made the men's team. The women's all-stars were Air Force Capt. Jennifer Block, Capt. Billeye Juarez and 1st Lt. Lisa Harrigan; Army Capt. Margaret Hill and 1st Lt. Sunny Barse; and Navy Lt. Karen Prest.

"Last year, the armed forces team competed in open competition, but this year, we'll be in the Double-A, one notch below the open," Morgan said.

"The open is real tough because they have all the international teams coming in. The Double-A works out good for armed forces athletes who don't play year-round," he said. "It's hard for sailors and Marines to get a court on a ship."

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