Not many athletes go through their high school careers as a varsity starter all four years.
Even fewer can say they did so while dominating at two positions.
Bishop Gorman senior Liz Manthei accomplished the feat as a prolific outside hitter and setter in the Gaels’ girls volleyball program. For her efforts, Manthei was named the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Class 4A Girls Volleyball Player of the Year.
"She was very multifaceted," Gorman coach Ed Van Meetren said. "As a freshman and sophomore she set, as a junior she hit outside, and as a senior she did both. It was nice options for us."
Manthei totaled 219 kills, 299 assists, 60 blocks and 53 aces to lead the Gaels (31-9) to the Class 4A state semifinals. Gorman went 16-0 in the Southwest League before winning its second straight Sunset Region title.
As a senior, Manthei shared setter duties with junior Kylee Chun. Van Meetren said that enabled Manthei to emerge as "the most dominant right-side blocker in town."
"You’re usually going against the best players. Blocking is about desire as much as anything else," Van Meetren said. "She wanted to block every ball."
As one of only four seniors for the Gaels, Manthei became a vocal leader in 2010. She also led by example, coming through with 23 kills and 15 assists in a 3-1 win over Centennial in the Sunset Region final.
"My senior year, I definitely stepped up being a leader," said Manthei, who was voted Southwest Most Valuable Player by coaches. "I became more vocal on the court. It comes with knowing your team."
Manthei is continuing to play during the offseason with locally based Edge Volleyball Club to stay sharp for college. She’s set to join Arizona in the fall as a recruited walk-on.
Manthei is excited not only for the chance to play for one of the nation’s top programs, but to reunite with her brother, Stephen Manthei, a sophomore pitcher for the Arizona baseball team.
"Most people don’t get to continue playing," she said. "To get to go to a school where my brother is, it’s the best opportunity I could have."
Contact reporter Tristan Aird at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5203.In-depth high school sports coverage