***image1***The Ramstein women’s community-level volleyball team crunched the competition, remaining undefeated in their only home games of the season.
Ramstein hosted Spangdahlem and the Army league, consisting of Darmstadt, Wiesbaden, Baumholder, Heidelberg and Hanau, in a double-elimination tournament Saturday at Vogelweh Fitness Center.
In their first match, Ramstein barely beat their toughest opponent, Heidelberg, 25-23, 25-23.
With Heidelberg knocked down to the loser’s bracket, Ramstein swept the remaining games.
As expected, Heidelberg beat Hanau and won their bracket. After playing three games in a row, they took on Ramstein in the championship game.
Ramstein lost the first game, 21-25, but came back for a clear-cut victory in the second and third games, 25-17, 15-12.
“Heidelberg came into the game warmed-up but they were obviously very tired,” said Ramstein’s outside hitter Yuki Riley. “We had good hitting and blocking …. and they were making mistakes they don’t usually make.”
The Army league and two Air Force teams, play seven consecutive Saturdays, taking turns hosting the games through May.
With each game the Army teams earn points to be invited to the U.S. Army Europe tournament in May. The Air Force teams are getting practice for the U.S. Air Forces in Europe tournament May 16 to 22 at Aviano Air Base, Italy.
Ramstein hopes to maintain its three-year winning streak at USAFE against the Mildenhall, Lakenheath, Aviano and Incirlik teams.
The top two Army and Air Force teams then compete in the Final Four tournament June 2 to 5 in Wiesbaden.
Last year Ramstein lost the championship to Bamberg.
“We’re still getting used to each other and playing as a team,” said Riley. “We have a lot of things to fix before the tournament.”