Athlete of the Month: Elizabeth Nye

Freshman phenom commands the court

Chris Van Kleeck, Sports Writer

Sit down at a girls volleyball home game from start to finish and there are a few things you will quickly grow accustomed to: the smell of sweat marinated with popcorn and Mountain Dew, the satisfyingly rhythmic sound of the ball being hit back and forth and No. 4 for West is usually dolphin-diving all over the hardwood making plays as if it were sand instead. You will also notice she doesn’t just play one position, rather she more floats around and does/plays whatever is needed for the win. Even while being the shortest girl on the team, it is evident that she is not only one of the best players on the team, but one of the better leaders as well.
Number 4’s name is Elizabeth Nye, and she’s just a freshman. Nye has been playing volleyball for five years and quickly fell in love with the sport.
“I used to do basketball and gymnastics along with volleyball, but dropped the two to focus on volleyball. It [volleyball] became my number one priority and something I wanted to be really good at; so I started playing or practicing almost everyday,” Nye said.
Nye’s main sport technically isn’t even volleyball, it’s beach volleyball, which may explain her tendency to dive face first onto the court so much.
“I enjoy beach (volleyball) because you get to play all the positions instead of just one since it’s two vs two. I like being able to do everything because I think it makes me a better player and the game more fun,” Nye said.
Even though Nye prefers beach because of the two vs two aspect, her favorite part about school ball is the team and family environment created amongst the girls.
“Everyone is so nice to me and I feel like we have all bonded together really well. The seniors treat me like a little sister, and have all become good role models that I can look up to and learn from since I am so young.” Nye said.
On the team the older girls are given “littles” and the younger girls are given “bigs”. The responsibility of “bigs” are to act as the older sister to their “little,” and mentor them throughout not only the season but school and life as well. Nyes “big” is senior captain Clara LaRue.
“Liz is amazing. She has a great head on her shoulders and works hard everyday. She plays with great hustle and effort; and has quickly found her role on the team. Outside of volleyball we have gotten super close and hang out all the time. She is one of my closest friends and I love her,” LaRue said.
It is not an accident Nye isn’t suiting up for the JV games played right before hers. Nye prides herself on consistent and healthy work ethic, and says her favorite quote is “You will not outwork me.”
“That’s the only reason I am in the position I currently am, is because of hard work. And I don’t want that to come off as cocky but more of a message of encouragement to other girls trying to do the same as me,” Nye said.
Nye hopes to continue her beach volleyball and academic career at a Division 1 university, but in the meantime, the freshman will be a key component of the volleyball team’s success for the next four years.

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