Air Force Men, Army Women Repeat as Volleyball Champions
By John W. Peeler
National Guard Bureau
FORT BENNING, Ga., May 14, 1997 Air Force men and Army women repeated their 1996 performances by capturing the 1997 Armed Forces Volleyball Championships May 7-10 here.
Air Force men took five games to slip past Navy on the first day, but no team would come close to upsetting the defending champs until the last day of the tournament. By the time Army defeated Air Force 15-12, 13-15, 16-14, 15-5, Air Force had clinched the title.
"It's a good feeling to win again," Air Force coach Dale Grupe said. "We basically came back this year with the same men's team we had last year."
Army men finished second, posting a 4-2 record for the second consecutive year. Navy finished third at 2-4, and Marine Corps finished at 1-5.
After the tournament, officials named men's all-Armed Forces team with Air Force men placing five players on the squad. Earning slots were Capt. John Kara (Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho), 1st Lt. Paul Larger (Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.), 2nd Lt. John Napier (Los Angeles Air Force Base), Staff Sgt. Kelly Bronson (Kadena Air Base, Japan) and Senior Airman Marc Anderson (Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.). Grupe (Lexington, Ky.) and Master Sgt. Kliengsak Nimpchaimanatham (Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.) earned coaching spots.
Soldiers earning all-tournament berths were Sgt. Lee Bettie (Fort Buckman, Okinawa, Japan), Spc. Tausala Faamausili (Fort Lewis, Wash.) and Pfc. Richard Hudson (Fort Carson, Colo.). Taking Navy positions were Petty Officer 1st Class John Blondin (USS Milius), Petty Officer 1st Class Jeffrey Ersberger (USS George Washington) and Seaman Jason Alexandridis (San Diego Naval Base). Also named to the team as trainer was Petty Officer 2nd Class Steven George (Naval Hospital, Millington, Tenn.).
In the women's competition, Army started with a Day 1 victory over Marine Corps 15-7, 15-3, 15-5 before being seriously challenged the last day of the tournament by Air Force. Army's 6- 15, 15-9, 5-15, 15-8, 15-4 victory forced a best-two-out-of-three game tie-breaker between Air Force and Navy to determine second place, which Air Force won in two straight games 15-13 and 15-8.
Air Force finished in second place at 4-3. Navy, finished third at 3-4, while Marine Corps women ended at 0-6.
The Army team placed five players on the women's All-Armed Forces squad. Soldiers earning spots were 2nd Lt. Sunny Barse (Fort Shafter, Hawaii), 2nd Lt. DeAnn Machlan (Fort Campbell, Ky.), Sgt. Kristie Dean (Kaiserslautern, Germany), Spc. Trina Skinner (Fort Belvoir, Va.) and Spc. Ramona Sualua (Fort Riley, Kan.).
Air Force players making the team were 1st Lt. Christine Eiler (Los Angeles Air Force Base), 1st Lt. Lisa Harrigan (Brooks Air Force Base, Texas) and 2nd Lt. Billeye Juarez (Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.).
Navy players earning positions were Lt. j.g. Lauren Nilsen (Rota, Spain), Petty Officer 2nd Class Demaris Brown (Camp Pendleton, Calif.) and Seaman Stephanie Stuck (San Diego). Marine Corps players making the squad were Sgt. Danielle Dillard (Westover, Calif.) and Sgt. Charissa Howard (Anacostia Naval Station, Washington, D.C.).
Army coach Toafala Lafeta (Phoenix) and Chief Warrant Officer Leroy Latshaw (Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii) were selected to coach the All-Armed Forces women's team.
The All-Armed Forces team is currently at Fort Benning practicing for the Volleyball Nationals at Kansas City May 24-27.
W L PCT. GB
Army 6 0 1.000 --
*Air Force 3 3 .500 3
Navy 3 3 .500 3
Marine Corps 0 6 .000 6
* Won playoff tiebreaker for second place
W L PCT. GB
Air Force 5 1 .833 --
Army 4 2 .667 1
Navy 2 4 .333 3
Marine Corps 1 5 .167 4
Women's Tournament Scores
Army def. Marine Corps 15-7, 15-3, 15-5
Air Force def. Navy 15-11, 15-5, 15-4
Air Force def. Marine Corps 15-8, 15-10, 15-6
Army def. Navy 15-6, 11-15, 15-5, 15-5
Navy def. Marine Corps 15-12, 15-2, 15-6
Army def. Air Force 15-5, 10-15, 15-6, 15-8
Navy def. Air Force 15-11, 4-15, 17-15, 16-14
Army def. Marine Corps 15-5, 15-7, 14-16, 15-7
Air Force def. Marine Corps 15-6, 15-11, 15-7
Army def. Navy 15-2, 15-2, 15-6
Navy def. Marine Corps 15-10, 15-4, 15-5
Army def. Air Force 6-15, 15-9, 5-15, 15-8, 15-4
*Air Force def. Navy 15-13, 15-8
*Tiebreaker game for second place.
Men's Tournament Scores
Air Force def. Navy 15-9, 12-15, 11-15, 15-13, 15-13
Army def. Marine Corps 15-9, 15-12, 15-10
Air Force def. Marine Corps 15-1, 17-15, 15-9
Navy def. Army 15-13, 15-9, 15-1
Marine Corps def. Navy 16-14, 6-15, 12-15, 15-8, 15-10
Air Force def. Army 15-9, 11-15, 15-12, 15-12
Air Force def. Navy 15-7, 16-14, 12-15, 15-7
Army def. Marine Corps 16-14, 15-6, 7-15, 6-15, 15-8
Air Force def. Marine Corps 15-6, 15-12, 15-8
Army def. Navy 10-15, 15-10, 15-7, 15-7
Navy def. Marine Corps 15-11, 15-4, 15-4
Army def. Air Force 15-12, 13-15, 16-14, 15-6