Photo Information

Corporal Benjamin Vedder, a vehicle operator with Truck Company, Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, makes a save during a water polo tournament, May 13, 2011. The day's event marked the seventh leg of the Commander’s Cup, a nine-event competition intended to build camaraderie throughout the battalion.

Photo by U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde

Water polo brings out Marines' competitive spirit

16 May 2011 | Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde

Marines from Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, competed in a water polo tournament at the Area 5 Training Tank aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., May 13, 2011.

The tournament was a three-game, single-elimination playoff, which marked the seventh leg of the battalion-wide Commander’s Cup. Marines from Communications Company and Truck Company, both with Headquarters Battalion, made up the four teams in the competition.

 Throughout each match, goaltenders sacrificed their bodies to make acrobatic saves, opposing players fought tirelessly for possession of loose balls and defenders frequently splashed water in the eyes of attackers to throw them off their game.

“It just brings out that natural competition we have,” said Sgt. Junior Caldwell, a section leader with Service platoon, Communications Company, who competed for Communications Team A.

Communications A defeated Truck A 17-7 in the first game and Truck B edged Comm. B 7-6 in Game Two, setting up a showdown between the two winners for the championship in Game Three.

After a back and forth battle for the entire game, Comm. A emerged victorious 11-10, becoming the winners of the water polo event. The ecstatic champions high-fived one another in a pandemonium that ensued moments after the closing whistle.

Communications A’s victory secured a win for Communications Company as a whole for the seventh event in the tournament. Their superior teamwork represents the type of camaraderie the Commander’s Cup tournament was created to help build.

“We wanted each company to build a bond,” said Sgt. Jacqueline Holcomb, the tournament’s coordinator. “That way (each) company knows their strengths and weaknesses.”