Liz Manthei had been waiting for Bishop Gorman’s girls volleyball match against Centennial for quite some time.
The senior outside hitter/setter made the most of it, posting 23 kills and 15 assists to lead the Gaels (31-8) past the Bulldogs 25-23, 25-23, 24-26, 25-14 for the Gaels’ second straight Sunset Region title.
“We’ve been waiting to play Centennial all year,” Manthei said. “We knew they were our competition; we knew they were going to be hard to beat. We just came out and played strong. We couldn’t let down.”
Kylee Chun added 23 assists and five kills for Gorman, and Kylie Shaw had 13 kills, most of them off passes from Manthei.
“We’ve been playing together forever, so we know who’s where, who to let have it, who to go to,” Manthei said. “We just connect really well on the court.”
The Gaels committed 10 hitting errors before winning the first game, then Manthei tied the second game at 23. The 6-foot senior then pounded the winning kill two points later.
But the Bulldogs (29-8) came roaring back late in the third game. Lacy Miyahira, who finished with 35 assists, had her only kill of the night on a dump that set up Kaitlin Kelly’s game-tying 19th point, and Centennial held on for the 26-24 victory.
Gorman jumped out to a 16-10 lead in the fourth game after a six-point run sparked by two of Shelby Devlin’s match-high six blocks, and the Gaels rolled to the 25-14 win that clinched egion title.
Breanna Rubalcaba served up four aces for the Gaels, and freshman Gianna Ruggeroli added six kills.
“The girls really worked hard all year to get where we’ve gotten to, and they’ve earned what they got,” Gorman coach Ed Van Meetren said. “They worked to get it.
“Apparently, there’s been a lot of trash-talking (with Centennial) on the social networking, and so they wanted an opportunity to go after it.”
Shannon Brown had 10 kills for the Bulldogs, and Allison Tatom added nine kills and three blocks. Alex Johnson supplied five kills and six blocks for Centennial.