“I knew there would be some jitters because we only have three guys with playoff experience in Kenyatta, Edmund and Chris Davis,” said Beattie, whose team improved to 16-7 and will next face Sage Hill in a second-round match at 7 p.m. Thursday at a site to be determined by a coin flip. “I expected that we’d have some jitters and we started off a little slow in the first game.
“Now, we’ve got this out of the way.”
The Rebels, who advanced to the semifinals last season before falling to St. Margaret’s, broke a 15-15 deadlock in the first game by closing out on a 10-6 run. Chow contributed three kills in that stretch, including two in a row to give the Rebels a 21-16 advantage.
Flintridge Prep started out slowly in the second game. St. Anthony (8-10) raced to a 10-2 lead. The Rebels then took a 19-18 lead before the Saints, who placed third in the Santa Fe League, rallied to take a 21-19 lead. However, Flintridge Prep finished with a 6-1 run.
“We just got blocked right away in the second game and we were jump swinging and weren’t thinking too much,” Beattie said. “Then we started to play smarter, we got some tips and got our blocking game going. That allowed us to start to chip away and come back.”
The comeback ignited Flintridge Prep, which shared the Prep League championship with Pasadena Poly and Chadwick, and led to the Rebels easily winning the final game. Smith had two kills and two blocks to help stake Flintridge Prep to an 11-5 lead. Flintridge Prep used an 8-2 run to extend its lead to 19-7 and never looked back.
“Sean talked about that, we don’t have a lot of players who have been in the playoffs,” said Chow, a senior outside hitter. “We did have some jitters late into the second game, but the comeback in the second game seemed to get us going.
“We knew that as long as our passing was good, we would be fine.”
Flintridge Prep received eight kills from Nolan Jimbo and 28 assists from Kieran Mulroy.