La Cañada (6-5) received a team-high 14 kills from Matt Faber, who competed in his first match after the Spartans' basketball team was eliminated from the state playoffs Saturday. Faber showed no signs of rust and picked up some big kills for the Spartans, who met the Rebels (6-10) for the first time since 2004 and also had basketball player Sean Mintie back in the mix.
"You can see a big difference with Matt and Sean because they bring height," La Cañada Coach David Woo said. "We held serve without them here for the first  matches.
"This match can prepare us for league, though we still have a way to go. The fifth game was a see-saw one and [Flintridge Prep] missed two key serves toward the end. Had they not, it might have been different."
Flintridge Prep recently saw the return of Kenyatta Smith, Jared Norsworthy, Sam Honch, Kory Hamane and Jordan Whaley and have also shown some signs of improvement after getting off to a rough start.
Smith finished with a match-high 17 kills and six blocks and Norsworthy contributed nine kills and five blocks for the Rebels, who appeared to have the momentum entering the final game after easily winning the fourth.
However, the Spartans regrouped by rallying from an 8-6 deficit in the finale to topple the Rebels. Flintridge Prep finished with three service errors and had trouble mounting an attack with their subpar passing.
"It was definitely a good match and both teams played well," said Flintridge Prep Coach Sean Beattie, who got 42 assists from Kieren Mulroy and whose team is ranked No. 6 in Division V. "Our passing wasn't on and that's unacceptable.