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Flintridge Prep volleyball wins playoff thriller against Whitney

Volleyball: Rebels rally to earn five-game first-round victory at home.

May 07, 2013|By Edgar Melik-Stepanyan, Special to the Glendale News-Press
  • Flintridge Prep's Harrison Jung and Kareem Ismail reach for the block against Whitney in a CIF Southern Section Division IV first-round playoff boys' volleyball match at Flintridge Prep on Tuesday. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
Flintridge Prep's Harrison Jung and Kareem Ismail…

LA CAÑADA — Whether it has been playoff basketball or postseason volleyball, the fanatic students at Flintridge Prep have seen their share of memorable contests.

They saw another thrilling match Tuesday night when the Prep boys' volleyball team took on Cerritos Whitney in a first-round contest of the CIF Southern Section Division IV playoffs.

PHOTOS: Flintridge Prep vs. Whitney CIF Southern Section Division IV playoffs

The Rebels took an exciting first game and dropped the next two games by a combined five points before winning the fourth game by three points, setting up a winner-take-all fifth game.

Prep's Chad Cosse ended the fourth game with an emphatic kill and began the fifth game with a statement kill, as the Rebels went on to defeat the Wildcats, 25-18, 22-25, 24-26, 25-22, 15-11.

The Rebels (18-7), winners of 10 of their past 11 contests, will play Santa Fe League runner-up Los Angeles Salesian (14-8) or Los Padres League's second-place finisher Santa Ynez (10-14) in Thursday's second round.

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“It's a small gym, so 50 people make it sound like 100 people, when you get 75, it makes it sound like 200. That intensity goes back and forth,” Rebels Coach Sean Beattie said.

“Both teams played on an emotional roller coaster. It's either you're up or you're down. It was an up-and-down game. It was a solid game by both teams.”

The tone of the match was set in the first game.

Neither team led by more than three in the early stages of the game and Prep only pulled away when it scored five consecutive points to break a 12-12 tie. The Rebels' five consecutive points were the most unanswered points either team scored in the entire match.

“You're living and dying on every point, it's because you know one or two points can decide a game,” Beattie said. “What we talked about was trying to be clean. Make them earn points. Don't give them points.”

The Rebels, the Prep League champions, didn't follow their coach's advice.

Prep had 13 unforced errors in the second game and seven in the third, as a strong Whitney team, which tied for second in the Academy League, took two consecutive games.

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