Army sweeps of Armed Forces Men/Women gold; Army Women Win National Title

By Steven Dinote | Armed Forces Sports | June 02, 2014

(Phoenix, AZ) – The desert heat only added fire to the Army’s Men and Women Volleyball teams as they swept the Armed Forces gold for the second straight year in a row.  After being crowned Armed Forces Champions, the Army women proceeded to win the USA Volleyball Women’s A Division National Title.

The Army Women under first-year coach Staff Sgt. Sherri Lagasse-Randall (Fort Stewart, GA) defeated the Navy 2-0 (25-15, 25-12) and Air Force 2-0 (25-17, 25-19) to secure their second straight Armed Forces Gold Medal.  The Air Force and Navy Women faced each other in a battle for silver, with Air Force winning 2-0 (25-20, 25-22). 

Army proceeded to advance through the first two rounds before advancing to the finals of the double elimination Gold bracket.  The Soldiers face Team Bangers from Louisiana once again after defeating them 2-1 (26-28, 25-19, 15-12) in the semi-finals.  Team Bangers handed Army their first tournament loss defeating them 2-0 (26-24, 25-22).  The National Title would then be decided in a winner-take-all final set to 25.  The Army Women rallied behind the strong play of Capt. Jamie Pecha (Fort Bragg, NC) to defeat Team Bangers 25-16, earning National Gold. 

Capt. Pecha would earn Tournament MVP honors and was selected to the All-Tournament team with fellow soldiers 1LT Alexandria Giraud (Schofield Barracks, HI) and PFC Jessica Glover (Walter Reed, MD). 

Air Force and Navy Women advanced to the Copper Bracket and finished the Women’s A Division 25th and 27th respectively.

On the Men’s side, Army men under coach Sgt. Angel Rivera (Army Reserves, Fort McCoy, WI) defeated the Air Force 2-1 (22-25, 25-23, 15-12) and the Navy 2-0 (25-21, 26-24) to capture their fourth straight Armed Forces gold medal .  Army finished the Nationals with an overall record of 5-3, finishing 15th within the Men’ A Division.

Navy Men beat Air Force 2-1 (21-25, 33-31, 15-12) to win silver for the second consecutive year.  Navy finished the Nationals with a record of 2-5 placing 20th overall and Air Force finished 19th overall with a record of 3-3. 

This year, Armed Forces Sports teamed up with USA Volleyball to conduct the Armed Forces Volleyball Championship in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Nationals 26-28 May in Phoenix, AZ.  The Service teams faced each other within the same pool during the first round to determine the Armed Forces champion.  Each Service then advanced throughout the tournament to make a run at the National title. 

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