Union female athlete of the month – December 2015

Senior Volleyball Captain Marlisa Shaw

LEADER-girl athleteUNION, NJ — Shaw was a senior captain on the Union High School volleyball team, which saw its season end in a first-round playoff loss to Eastern. With Shaw locking down the middle blocker position, and thanks to a regular season record of 17-8, it was the Farmers’ first trip to the postseason in five years.

On the season’s end
“As a team, we don’t really like to know the rank of our opponent. If we come in and we’re thinking, ‘oh my God, we’re playing the No. 1 team in the state,’ then it throws us off. But if we don’t know, we just play our game. We’re just playing volleyball. So we went in playing the No. 7 team in the state, and we had no idea.”
“We entered as 26th in the state, I believe. And, honestly, I think we played a good game. In my heart, we won.”
“Our drive back from states was an hour-and-a-half, and any other team would have been either extremely sad or ‘this person could have been better,’ and ‘this person could have done this.’ Our ride back was ‘great game, ladies, great season. Let’s enjoy our ride back, and have a heck of a time for the seniors.’”

On this year’s group
“In Union High School, teams are teams. You know who are team members and who aren’t. But Union volleyball, it’s a family. We don’t just play, we go through everything together. Every time we go on the court, it’s more like, ‘let’s go family,’ rather than ‘let’s go team.’ It’s beautiful.”

Team highlight from Shaw’s career
A comeback in a rivalry game with Linden. “It was our last game of the season, and it was their last home game. And they had maybe 150 to 200 kids in there — just amazing, it was amazing school spirit at Linden. Imagine playing in a gym where you have maybe five people rooting for you, and 150 rooting against you.” After going down 19-3 in the second round, Union rallied for a 22-21 lead. “I could not believe it. Nobody gave up on each other. Nobody. I was stunned. Everybody was excited. As a team, that was the best moment ever.”

Favorite spot in Union
RAMS field, near the high school. “There’s a block in-between the high school and the Boys & Girls Club. That’s my favorite part because if I’m not home, or at school, that’s where I’m at. Somewhere between those two points.”

What you’re watching now:
“The last thing I watched was ‘A Lost Nation.’ I’ve been meaning to catch up with ‘Scandal,’ I’m a crazy ‘Scandal’ fan.”