Rebels never relent, but still get swept

June 09, 2006|By Grant Gordon

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — On May 1, the Flintridge Prep boys' volleyball team hosted and promptly swept La Salle in a nonleague match.

When the two met again in the Flintridge Prep gym for Tuesday's CIF Southern Section Division V second-round match, that first match had nothing to with nor resembled in any way the teams' rematch.

In fact, the outcome was the complete opposite, as the visiting Lancers swept away the Rebels' season, 25-18, 27-25, 25-22.

"We should've done better and they played really well [on May 1], besides, regular season is regular season," said La Salle Coach Jason Eisele, who was without two starters in the teams' prior match.


Flintridge Prep Coach Sean Beattie said he knew the Lancers (19-5) weren't at full strength the first time and, not to mention, that his squad had played "flawless" volleyball.

"I told [the Rebels] before the game, 'We we are two evenly matched teams. ... Whoever makes the least amount of mistakes is going to win,' " said Beattie, whose team ended its season at 12-12. "At the end of every game, [the Lancers] were flawless."

And the Rebels weren't.

That was evident in the match's closest game, as the Rebels were up 23-22 and tied 25-25 when they served balls into the net.

"Those things kill you," said Beattie, whose team had nine missed serves to five aces. "I think it was the exact opposite last time."

Still, the match showcased a never-ending string of colossal kills and big blocks.

"That's the way volleyball's supposed to be played," said Beattie, who got 12 kills and eight blocks from Brady Thomson and six kills each from Dylan Walker and Mike Somerville.

In front of a jam-packed and raucous crowd, each kill and each block seemed to shift the momentum, but neither team ever relented.

"There was not a single time I thought we lost any intensity," Beattie said.

But every time the Rebels flirted with regaining a lead or thought they'd built an insurmountable one of their own, the Lancers roared back.

"We've been struggling all year capturing the momentum, but today we stayed focused," Eisele said. "Today was the first time we really captured and maintained that momentum."

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