USAFE women, Polish men win annual tourney

by Staff Sgt. Brian Hill
Kaiserslautern American

The U.S. Air Forces in Europe women’s volleyball team are now two-time champs, and the Polish Air Force men are winners at the CC-Air North Volleyball Championships at Ramstein.

***image1***The third annual tournament took place March 19 to 23 at Ramstein’s Southside Fitness Center. The tournament brings together six countries – the U.S., Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland and the U.K. – and the location rotates each year.

“This is the first time that a USAFE base ever hosted a CC-Air North sporting event – with resounding success,” said Steve Lowe, USAFE sports director.
The women’s final was played March 22, and USAFE’s team shut out Germany 3 sets to 0.

“Teamwork and communication was the difference in the women’s division of this year’s championships,” said Lani Kekahuna, USAFE women’s coach. “We caught the opposition off-guard with our quick-tempo offense. I don’t think they were prepared or expected it from us.”

The coach also said having the tournament at home provided the final piece to winning.

“The fan support was great – not having a hostile crowd worked to our advantage,” she said.

On the men’s side, Poland sacked Germany 3 sets to 1.

“We’re very happy to be the winners,” said Polish coach Adolf Surmacz. “All the teams were very good and we had a lot of fun. This tournament gives us a unique opportunity to meet teams from other nations and to test our skills against them. We look forward to competing next year.”

The tournament moves back to Poland in 2008, where it was played in 2005.