The serve was a beauty. It started with a majestic leap and ended with the ball sky-diving to the floor just inside the back line.
Truth be told, though, senior outside hitter Maddie Arundel wasn’t thinking about making a highlight-reel play for Marist.
“I just knew that I had to get it in there,” Arundel said. “I just wanted to put as much momentum into the ball as I could.”
If there was a turning point Tuesday night in Marist’s 26-24, 25-22 victory over host Mother McAuley, that was it.
Arundel’s clutch ace came with the RedHawks trailing 21-19 in Game 1. The Ferris State recruit had a lot more where that came from, too.
On her next serve, Arundel sent a wicked line drive over the net that ricocheted off a McAuley defender. Not long after, she put down a kill from the back row.
Finally, with Game 1 in overtime, she drilled another kill on a set from junior Nikki Jones to end it.
“I screamed for that ball as hard as I could,” Arundel said with a smile. “Nikki (Jones) hit me perfectly. She moves the ball around so well.”
Arundel finished with seven kills, 20 digs and five aces for Marist (15-2). Mary Clare Brusek and Camryn Hannah each had six kills and three blocks, Jones added 27 assists and Mairead Boyle made 19 digs.
Amia Owolabi had six kills and two blocks for Mother McAuley (8-6). Connie LeBel added four kills, while Emily Weber contributed eight assists and four digs and Gigi Navarrete had nine digs.