News: Station residents go Top Gun during volleyball tourney
Story by Lance Cpl. James Smith
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan - With the weather heating up and the sun shining brightly, Marines from various units at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, entered the “danger zone” to compete in the Commander's Cup two-on-two volleyball tournament hosted by IronWorks intramural sports at the outdoor volleyball courts near IronWorks Gym here, May 17, 2013.
Each team consisted of four members, two for play and two to substitute at any time in a double elimination tournament.
Before play began, the team from Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 said they had already won.
"It's a usual outcome for us whenever we come out; MWSS-171 winning at Commander's Cup events," said Gunnery Sgt. Chawa Pearson, MWSS-171 administrative chief. "Plus, we play quite a bit of volleyball."
The tournament started off with Combat Logistics Company 36 against the MWSS-171 team. Justifying their confidence, MWSS-171 beat CLC-36 and moved onward in the competition.
The next match consisted of Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 and Marine Aircraft Group 12. MALS-12 took an early lead, with the "Ready Group" catching up. Despite the effort, MAG-12 would take a loss early in the tournament.
As the competition progressed and the number of teams dwindled, one thing became evident as competitive natures flared.
"When you win a Commander's Cup challenge, you get bragging rights for a year, saying your unit is the best at these sporting events," said A. J. Gray, MWSS-171 family readiness officer. "It's more about the prestige of the base."
It came down to the last two teams: MWSS-171, who managed to go the entire tournament without a loss, and MALS-12, who sustained only one loss.
Rules stated in order to win a match, the team needed to win by two points.
The rule came into play as the match became a back-and-forth battle with both teams giving their all.
When the sand settled, MWSS-171 kept their promise and came out on top, beating MALS-12, 15-13.
"We want to thank (Marine Corps Community Services) for putting this event together, because without them, we wouldn't have a Commander's Cup," said Gray. "And of course, thank you for all the money that they put into the units, because those funds allow us to do events for Marines and it builds morale."
With yet another Commander's Cup victory under their belt and more bragging rights for the unit, MWSS-171 looks forward to the next Commander's Cup event: Intramural Sports dodgeball tournament June 7, 2013.