Rebels can't match up with rival Panthers

Volleyball: Flintridge Prep boys swept by rival Pasadena Poly in Prep League home match.

April 08, 2011|By Charles Rich,
  • Flintridge Prep's Michael Ellis bumps the ball in a Prep League boys volleyball match on Friday.
Flintridge Prep's Michael Ellis bumps the ball… (Tim Berger, Staff…)

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — With its starting setter in the heart of New York City and starting outside hitter recovering from a knee injury, the Flintridge Prep boys' volleyball team never looked in sync when it took to the court to meet rival Pasadena Poly on Friday afternoon.

The Rebels were without setter Kieren Mulroy, who was on a college visit to New York University, and outside hitter Kory Hamane, who suffered what might be a season-ending knee injury while recently playing basketball.

Flintridge Prep had a difficult time filling the big voids, as it suffered a 25-23, 25-20, 25-18 Prep League home loss.

It hasn't been a smooth season for the Rebels, who dropped to 6-11, 0-2 in league. Flintridge Prep, ranked No. 6 in the latest CIF Southern Section Division V poll, began its season missing five players who helped the school's boys' basketball team win the program's first CIF championship before competing in the state playoffs.


The Rebels have also been forced to make major lineup changes while competing against top league teams such as Chadwick and Pasadena Poly in the first week of league competition. The Rebels opened league Tuesday with a loss against Chadwick, the top team in the division.

"We have a lot of kids who are new to the spotlight," Flintridge Prep Coach Sean Beattie said. "The basketball kids are still not [in volleyball shape] and it's going to take some time.

"We lost our starting setter and our outside hitter gets hurt. We'd love to have [Mulroy] starting in a game like this."

Mulroy was replaced by Mike Lii, who finished with 15 assists.

Pasadena Poly (8-4, 2-0) showed why its No. 4 in the division. The Panthers played crisp defense and turned to outside hitter Michael Saeta, who finished with a match-best 15 kills.

Pasadena Poly Coach Mike Talamantes said the Panthers needed to accomplish two objectives in their quest to turn aside the Rebels in the first of two head-to-head meetings.

"We disrupted their pass and we were able to slow down their middle blockers," Talamantes said. "With Michael, we will go as far as he takes us.

"We have a pretty young team, but he's got experience."

Another area of difficulty for the Rebels came with their inconsistent serving. Flintridge Prep committed eight serving errors, which at times derailed them from sustaining momentum against the Panthers.

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