Ascension : Volleyball News and Highlights
Submitted by The Islander (Gavin Yon) 04.03.2004 (Article Archived on 18.03.2004)
Volleyball is not a new sport to the people of Ascension Island.
Volleyball is not a new sport to the people of Ascension Island. It’s played down at English Bay on virtually every weekend and its also played on the Base at all hours of the day and night. However, organized match play volleyball is something new. At the request of Jack Whitaker, Station Manager, flyers were sent out to all employees to see if they’d be interested in participating in a volleyball tournament or league. We’ve always limited ourselves to softball, skittles, billiards, and darts. Volleyball could prove to be something new and exciting. To everyone’s surprise the response from our CSR community was positive and before we knew it we had 8 teams entered. The 1st Annual Double Elimination Beach Volleyball Tournament was underway
Team “Side Out”. Back row (L to R): Terrence “Spud” Young, David Beard, and Errol Thomas.
Front row (L to R): Gary Robinson, Gavin “Chocolate” Yon, Marty Joshua, and Neil Lawrence
I’m sure you’ve all played volleyball at one time or another using the “jungle ball” rules, but this would be different. Basic beach volleyball rules for 5 on 5 had to be established. It was decided that each match would consist of the best of 5 games, each game played to 15 points with the winner having to win by at least 2 points. From among the players experienced chair umpires were solicited and it was decided that line judges would be selected at the start of each match.
But even before play could begin, a lot of time and effort had to be put into our existing volleyball court. New poles were constructed by our welding shop and then set in concrete by the folks at heavy construction. The fire department donated old fire hose to serve as the lines. Volunteers measured the court to beach volleyball standards and the fire hoses were permanently installed. Sand was donated by Genesis VII to replace the existing linker. It was later spread out by facility staff members the night before competition was set to begin. Many of the players assisted by moving a set of bleachers from the Skittle lanes to courtside. And finally, our electricians installed outdoor overhead lighting. This was truly a community effort and our court was now ready for action.
1st Round Action
The first week of tournament play saw the High Flyer’s and The Spiker’s do battle. Other teams such as ‘B’ Shift and ‘C’ Shift, both representing the fire department, went head to head for bragging rights. The Red Devils, the Bad Boys, Side Out, and the Master Blaster’s followed these teams closely.
It took the High Flyer’s 4 games to settle down The Spiker’s in our opening match. Game 1 went to the High Flyer’s, but it was a closely-knit battle at the net. The Spiker’s not to be let down, rebounded quickly to tie the match as they took Game 2. Tied at 1 game apiece, both teams went into Game 3 with a vengeance. It was clear at this point that the battle lines had been drawn. Fighting for each and every point, the High Flyer’s narrowly edged out The Spiker’s. Trailing 2 games to 1, Randy Flowers, team captain for The Spiker’s, made a few critical substitutions as they entered Game 4. Although it appeared more like a marathon, Game 4 came down to a battle of wits and stamina.
Final Score: High Flyer’s 15-11, 10-15, 15-11, and 15-13.
1st Round Action. The Red Devils in the near court, battle it out with “Side Out” during Game 1 of Wednesday night’s match play.
Our second match brought together both teams from within the fire department. ‘B’ Shift, captained by Shaun Jonas, found themselves going head to head with ‘C’ Shift, captained by veteran player, Mark Greentree. As mentioned earlier, there was more here than who would win. Pride and bragging rights were on the line.
The boys from ‘B’ Shift took an early lead in game 1 and held it through to the end. Staying within their game plan, they proved that setting the ball and covering for one another would lead them to victory. In Game 2, ‘B’ Shift managed to score several unanswered points before ‘C’ Shift found their rhythm and bounced back to tie the game at 10-10. ‘C’ Shift eventually won the game and the match was now tied at 1 game apiece. Games 3 and 4 were much alike. Both teams made key substitutions and changed their rotations… anything to gain an advantage over their opponent. But what worked for ‘B’ Shift in Game 1 held true as they appeared to, at least on this particular day, to overpower their opponents.
Final Score: ‘B’ Shift 15-9, 10-15, 15-4, and 15-2.
Front row (L to R): Mark “Dundee” Greentree and Ryan “Tookie” Moyce.
The Bad Boys and the Master Blaster’s paired off against one another on Monday afternoon. It also marked the first match to be settled in as little as 3 games. It was a classic match-up of age versus youth. The youngest player for the Master Blaster’s is but a mere 29 years old and the oldest player (Guy Barallon) will celebrate his 60th birthday within a few months. The older gentlemen stuck to their game plan... bump, set, and slam! And it paid off for them in the end as they powered their way to victory and secured a spot in the quarter final round.
Final Score: Master Blaster’s 15-12, 15-4, and 15-10.
Performing the duties of chair umpire and keeping a close eye on the game is Guy Barallon, Volcano Club Manager, as spectators fill the bleachers.
Our featured match for Wednesday, and also the last of the 1st Round, pitted the Red Devils against Side Out. This match-up proved to be the classic David and Goliath story. The Red Devils towered over the boys from Side Out by at least 6 inches per-person. But size alone isn’t everything as they soon proved to a watchful crowd of spectators.
Having been beaten badly in the first 2 games, Side Out managed a series of unbelievable comebacks and tied the match at 2 games apiece. As the wind picked up speed, so too did Side Out. The 5th and final game was played under the lights as darkness settled on the court. Neither team could muster up a rally and no team ever lead by more than 2 points. A few of the volleys passed across the net 10-15 times before a point or side out was awarded. In the end, Side Out proved that speed, along with shear determination could prevail.
Final Score: Side Out 11-15, 4-15, 16-14, 15-12, and 15-13.
During quarterfinal competition, Craig Peters, right side of net, prepares to block the ball as other team members look on. The Spiker’s eventually settled the match in Game 5 sending ‘C’ Shift to the bleachers.
Entering into the quarterfinals from the “losers” bracket is never an easy task, especially knowing that a lose will knock you out of the tournament altogether. But that’s what lay ahead for The Spiker’s and ‘C’ Shift alike. Both teams met on the court Friday afternoon to see who would advance to the quarterfinal round and whom would become spectators.
It was evident at the onset of the match that neither team wanted to lose, nor would they go down without a fight. For those of you who missed this one… what can I say? It was a battle from the opening serve right through to match point. It went the distance, finally settled in Game 5. Victory belonged to The Spiker’s. It’s unfortunate that there could be but one winner, as both teams proved that they had a lot of heart.
Final Score: The Spiker’s 15-10, 13-15, 15-13, 13-15, and 15-7.
Updated copies of the Tournament schedule are posted daily at the Volleyball Court and in the CSR Dining Hall. Additional news, highlights, and photographs will be available next week.
Story and Photos by: Brian P. Davis
CSR 6310, Fire/Security