For Charter of Wilmington’s Liz Marcin, the secret to successful serving is all about the color light blue.
“My dad taught me to think of a color to stay focused,” Marcin said. “I try not to think about the score or anything. [Light blue] is a color that calms you down.”
Marcin’s eight aces and long runs of serving in the first and second sets helped the fourth-ranked Force defeat St. Georges 3-0 in the Blue Hen Conference Championship match on Wednesday night at Charter.
Marcin served nine straight points in the first set as Charter (14-2) rolled to a 25-8 win. A five-point run in the second set forced the Hawks to play catch-up again, but the Force held on to close out the set 25-15.
In the third set, Charter coach Dave Stover called a timeout with the Force leading 24-15 to make a substitution – putting in Charter’s only senior Jordan Schoeneberger to serve out the match.
“She’s a great young woman and a great volleyball player so we’ll give her a moment,” Stover said. “Of course, then I said ‘you can’t miss the next serve now.’ It was a little surprise.”
Schoeneberger didn’t miss, serving to start the final point which junior Taylor Regan ended with a kill.
“We just tried to keep our energy up and be as positive as possible,” Schoeneberger said of the match. “We haven’t been in this situation for a couple of years and it’s really awesome to be here.”
Schoeneberger finished with five kills and five blocks.
“She’s a rock,” Stover said of his senior captain. “She gets everyone settled down. … I have an easy job this year. I don’t have to push them in practice, they just take care of it. Jordan works harder than anyone. That’s why she’s so good. They just work really hard every day and I really don’t have to nag them very much.”
Charter, which earned the fifth seed in the state tournament that begins Saturday, will face No. 12 Caesar Rodney in the second game of a doubleheader at St. Mark’s. The conference title gives the Force a boost going into the postseason, said junior Brynn Michalcewiz.
“I was really happy overall with the way we played as a team this game and this season,” Michalcewiz said. “I’m really looking forward to going to the state tournament on a good note.
“We really wanted this conference [title] badly. This is definitely a goal of ours. We got the first goal and next goal is to do well in the tournament.”
Flight B champion St. Georges (10-6) faces another tough challenge when it opens the state tournament Saturday against No. 1 seed Padua at Polytech.
“Charter’s in the top five in the tournament every year so we were looking at this as a way to build up to Saturday when we play Padua,” said coach Lindsay Miller. “It was good for them to see a higher level of competition. It’s good being able to have it two days before the tournament to get to where we can work on some things in practice.”
Although Charter controlled the match against St. Georges, there was no letdown as the team prepares for a difficult draw in the state tournament, Stover said.
“All I ever want them to do is play really intensely, play smart and play hard,” Stover said. “It doesn’t matter who the opponent is, per se. We’ve played a tougher schedule than St. Georges, but we didn’t ease up.”