Mira Costa setter Tread Rosenthal is a unique combination of size and athleticism

Looking out the upstairs window of the family’s Manhattan Beach home, Tread Rosenthal can see a 6-foot, 8-foot volleyball court in the ocean. If he walks two blocks, he can touch the sand and hear the waves.

Asked how often she thanks her parents for living in Austin, Texas, Rosenthal said, “I would say every day.”

He went from football-crazed Texas to volleyball-loving Southern California, and the rest is history. The US U19s, who won a gold medal earlier this month, were named Most Valuable Player of the U19 Pan American Games.

She’s a 16-year-old junior setter for Mira Costa High volleyball, ready to experience her first Loyola-Mira Costa match Friday night at Loyola Marymount.

“The intensity is higher than any game I’ve ever played in and the crowd was just crazy,” he said of watching last season’s games.

He was benched and unable to play that fall because he had already played at Texas and was not eligible for his second season at Mira Costa. Now he’s ready to face some of his good friends, such as Loyola’s Sean Kelly, his U19 teammate.

Rosenthal’s father is Mira Costa’s athletic director, Mike Rosenthal, who was an All-American offensive lineman at Notre Dame and played nine seasons in the NFL. Her mother, Lindsay, played volleyball at Notre Dame. Family genes have produced three girls and one boy with size and athleticism. And Tread has finally surpassed his 6-7 dad.

“He’s pretty good, but he can still beat me up if he wants to,” Tread said.

Mira Costa’s Tread Rosenthal is a 6-foot-8 junior setter.

(Craig Weston)

None of the siblings are footballers. Tread said there was never any pressure to play football. At 205 pounds, he’s not big enough to be a linebacker like his father. She played five sports growing up and followed her two older sisters in volleyball, as did her younger sister.

At the age of 12, he was first a libero, then an outside hitter, after injuries to teammates forced him to learn other positions. This diversity has left him with unique abilities for his size.

“Throughout my life, I’ve played every position except center,” he said. “I understand all the attitudes.”

His size alone makes it rare to see him play the setter position, which is usually dominated by 5-10 players.

“It’s weird,” Loyola coach Michael Boehle said of Rosenthal. “It’s a big advantage to have someone so big and athletic. Usually those 6-8 players are in the middle or on the right side as outside hitters”.

Mira Costa coach Avery Drost said, “Tread is really special. There aren’t too many guys who are as big as him with that soft touch. I think of him like LeBron James of the Lakers. He’s a distributor and a playmaker first and he has the physical tools to be crazy on offense. A lot “He’s getting better all the time as a blocker. He’s come a long way as a hitter and as a server.”

Committed to Hawaii, Rosenthal is still learning volleyball, and the move to Southern California has helped open doors and brought better competition that can only improve her game.

His father was a high school football coach in Texas before the family decided to make the move with no known job prospects. He later became Mira Costa’s athletic director.

“I had a weird day, I looked it up on the internet and there it was,” said Mike. “A wing and a prayer. I was ready for something new.”

The family used to have a sand volleyball court in their backyard in Texas. Now the beach serves as a court.

Much has been written about people moving from California to Texas. The reverse migration has left the Rosenthals very happy.

“We went against it and no complaints,” Tread said.

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