More than 120 Marines and sailors competed in this year’s Commanding Generals Cup, 4-person Beach Volleyball Tournament at Del Mar Beach Resort here August 7.
The double-elimination tournament bracket consisted of 30 teams and each game was played to 15 points in the winner’s bracket and 11 points in the loser’s bracket.
The Secret Squirrels from 1st Intelligence Battalion, started the tournament by beating the Devil Dolphins, from 9th Communications Battalion, with a score of 15-11.
The Secret Squirrels carried that momentum into the final game of the winner’s bracket, where they faced Team USO from 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion.
The semifinal game of the tournament between Team USO and the Secret Squirrels traded points with both teams scoring repeatedly.
Every other point scored brought the game to a tie, until the final minute when Team USO rallied and scored two points consecutively which secured their win. After five-minutes of play Team USO finally came out on top with a 15 to 11 lead.
“It’s great playing against Marines from other units” said Lance Cpl. Emmanuel Morales, a rifleman with 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and player from Team USO.
Morales said it was his first volleyball tournament and it was a great opportunity to get out and play.
With the win over the Secret Squirrels, Team USO advanced to the championship game against the Islanders from Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton.
The champion was determined by best two-out-of-three games played. Winning the coin toss Team USO elected to serve first.
Both teams took turns taking the lead during the first, second and third games of the title match.
Barely taking game one by two points, Team USO took the early lead in the match, but the Islanders weren’t finished. Despite their slow start early in the second game, the Islanders finally pulled ahead in the second half of it to win 15-9.
Team USO scored quickly to go up 3-0. After a tough battle both teams were tied at 10 and in order to claim victory a team had to win by two points.
With the ball in Team USOs hands, they scored two points in less than 30 seconds, winning 12-10.
“We love winning and it was a great day to do it,” said Lance Cpl. Jonathan Rodriguez, a light armored vehicle crewman with 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and a player from Team USO, about winning first place in the Commanding Generals Cup, 4-person Beach Volleyball Tournament.