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Volleyball Preview: Flintridge Prep aiming to rule Prep League again

With virtually a new cast of starters, Rebels seek more league glory.

March 05, 2014|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
  • Flintridge Prep boys' volleyball coach Sean Beattie talks to his team during practice on Tuesday, February 25, 2014.
Flintridge Prep boys' volleyball coach Sean Beattie… (Roger Wilson / Staff…)

Expect things to look very different regarding the landscape of the Flintridge Prep boys’ volleyball team.

With a roster dotted with seniors, the Rebels marched straight to an undefeated Prep League championship before advancing to the CIF Southern Section Division IV quarterfinals last season.

While the Rebels would gladly settle for at least a carbon copy this season, they will have to rely on essentially a new group of players who don’t have the experience their brethren did.

“We definitely will be a younger team with only three returners and one starter,” said veteran Flintridge Prep Coach Sean Beattie, whose team is ranked sixth in the Division IV preseason poll. “Since we have some new players, a few of them with little to no varsity experience, we will see a lot of them fighting for playing time.

“We need to find out who the main pieces will be to fit in with the top players coming back. It’s a huge jump to the varsity level, so there will be an acceleration process.”

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Among those who might start are sophomore outside hitter and reigning All-Area second-team pick Dante Fregoso, senior middle blocker Trip Westmoreland, junior middle blocker Tyler Dill and sophomore setter Aldridge Khin.

“Maybe it can be a good thing that we are a little younger than normal,” Beattie said. “Nobody has secured a starting spot.

“A lot of the teams in our league seem to have that one top go-to player while looking to rebuild around them. The question for us is how quickly we can mesh as a unit, especially defensively?”

Flintridge Prep was the lone local team to qualify for the playoffs last season. St. Francis, Crescenta Valley, Glendale, Glendale Adventist Academy and Hoover will shoot to move up in their respective leagues and possibly earn a trip to the postseason.

St. Francis should have a wealth of experience, bringing back four returning starters. The Golden Knights figure to have some needed leadership to help make the transition smoother for some of the first-year varsity players.

Under veteran coach Mark Frazee, the Golden Knights will feature a lineup that should feature a combination of sophomore setter David Thompson, senior outside hitter Mark Munoz, senior opposite hitter/setter Babe Micalivio, senior opposite hitter AJ Krappman, junior middle blocker Thomas Lund, junior outside hitter Markar Agakanian and sophomore libero Carl D’Aguilar.

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