BAMBERG, Germany -- The final Army Europe Unit Level Volleyball Championships game in Bamberg, Germany, May 5 came down to the two teams representing the Vicenza Military Community and they couldn't have been more different.
"The average age of the player on our team was 39, making us one of the oldest teams competing," said Maj. Steve Williams, U.S. Army Africa Headquarters and Headquarters Company executive officer and USARAF team captain.
The other team, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team rear detachment, came to Germany dressed in short shorts, cropped shirts and knee-length neon socks to wear during the competition.
"Every time they got an ace, they did a combat roll," Williams said. According to Williams, his team attempted to do the same but, "it took a while for us to get up again."
Williams began putting together his team last summer during the USARAF Organizational Day, he was scouting talent and started putting together the 12-person team.
The two teams had been competing against each other locally since February, but the USARAF team remained undefeated until going into the local championships in which 1-503rd knocked them off the top.
To go to the championships, USARAF had to adjust the team due to deployments and TDYs with a few players from other USARAF teams and sent eight players. While in Germany, USARAF was ranked number one and 1-503rd second. 1-503rd lost and ended up in the loser's bracket during the double-elimination tourney. USARAF played four games May 3 in which the teams must win the best two out of three. Only one of their games went to three.
The final match boiled down to USARAF and 1-503rd, which went to three games and USARAF squeaked out a win by only a few points.
"Our team had great chemistry. Everyone wanted to play and win and supported each other, even when things went wrong," Williams said. "Everyone was willing to try new positions."

Page last updated Fri May 10th, 2013 at 00:00