UC Riverside graduate, Susie Marco did not expect to take on the roles as a full time employee, student and athlete when she enrolled at GCC this summer.
Marco graduated from UC Riverside in 2005 as a psychology and dance major. Since receiving her bachelor’s degree, she has been working at a non-profit organization in South Central, Los Angeles in child development as a full time social worker for over a year. The nonprofit, Drew Child Development Center is a place where children from abusive families could receive counseling with their parents to prevent any more child abuse from taking place. It helps keep the children out of foster care.
“It gets really challenging. We deal with cases of abuse or rape victims that have fallen through the cracks even though we’re not really supposed to deal with those cases,” said Marco, “It gets a little stressful.”
Marco is currently working on receiving her master’s degree to become a therapist through GCC. She wants to be involved with working with the Many Family Therapy. MFT are family therapy sessions conducted by psychiatrist, social workers, psychologists and mental health nurses at the same time. The professionals are able to discuss and analyze the family sessions with one another to obtain a better understanding of the situation.
She is attending GCC to educate herself more on the effects of drug and alcohol use. The courses will help her in her line of work since she sometimes deals with drug or alcohol related situations.
After long stressful and challenging days at work Marco said she finds release when stepping onto the volleyball court.
“It feels good leaving work and coming to the court and hitting the ball. It just feels good getting it [the stress] out,” she said.
Marco first began to play volleyball in the 6th-grade, but said she did not get serious until the 8th-grade. She continued on to play volleyball for her local high school. During her freshman year at Flintridge Prepatory School she was already a team captain of her J.V. team, as well as being the captain of the Varsity team during her senior year.
During both her freshman and senior years on the team she was named MVP as well as receiving the Coach’s Award. Aside from her high school team, she played on a club team, Club Long Beach.
“It’s hard not to play volleyball, it makes me feel better,” said Marco.
Marco began to play volleyball in a conditioning class over the summer just for exercise and workout purposes. When coach Yvette Ybarra approached her and asked if she wanted to join the team Marco agreed.
“She’s basically a really good player,” said Ybarra, “She has great leadership abilities and good skills.”
Volleyball is more than just a game for Marco. She said she enjoys playing volleyball because it’s different from most sports.
Playing on a court with five other people requires everyone to work together and not many other sports have that same kind of relationship with the teammates, according to Marco.
Marco is the middle blocker for the Vaqueros. At 5’10” she blocks serves and spikes from the opponents.
“You get such an adrenaline rush when you’re able to push back [the ball],” said Marco. “Its rally scoring so everything counts and it makes it [the game] really intense. It depends on a lot of team and graceful passes.” She is ranked 11 in the Western State Conference.
Every fault in the game is a point for the team, reaching up to 30 points per game. The winning team is the one which wins three out of five games per match. This scoring method is called “rally scoring.”
“Our team has so much potential of winning. When we communicate we can win,” said Marco. “We are the best conditioned team in our conference.”
“They need to work on being consistent,” said Ybarra, “They’re like a roller coaster, and they go up and down during the games. They need to be consistent and not have judgment lapses during games.”
The Vaqueros have not been so successful this season. So far they stand at 5-12.
Marco says that their loss against Pierce College was not because they are better than the Vaqueros, but because the Vaqueros did not communicate with each other as well as they could have.
“Pierce [College] has a lot of good players, but they just do what they’re supposed to,” said Marco. “If we pull together we should be able to push through and win, if we play the best we know.”