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Flintridge Prep boys' volleyball edges La Cañada High in four games

Volleyball: Led by Fregoso, Rebels improve to 2-0 in downing Spartans in nonleague action Thursday.

March 05, 2014|By Emin Avakian, Special to the Glendale News-Press

LA CAÑADA —Two neighboring schools with respective boys’ volleyball teams not yet solidified and looking to go nowhere but up took to the court in an early season match-up on Wednesday.

It was the season opener for an incomplete La Cañada High squad, as it waits for players on the school’s basketball team that reached the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division III-A playoffs.

The Spartans drove across the street to Flintridge Prep to face the Rebels, who graduated all but one starter and return three players from last season’s team that went undefeated in Prep League play and boasted three first-team All-League standouts.

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The Rebels, in their second match of the season, prevailed over the Spartans, 22-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-20.

Dante Fregoso, a co-captain, led Flintridge Prep (2-0) with 12 kills and 14 digs in a match that was tightly contested throughout.

“We’re a brand new team and they are the first good team we’ve faced this season,” Rebels Coach Sean Beattie said. “It took us a second to get caught up, but I thought we played really well in the second and the third.”

Down, 2-1, in games, La Cañada (0-1) led, 7-2, in the fourth and looked poised to send the match into a fifth game, but a rotation miscue cost the Spartans three points and tied the game in its early stages at 4.

After an extended delay in which the official consulted with the scoring table, the ruling was that the wrong Spartans player had been serving, thus resulting in the penalty.

The Spartans were never quite the same mentally thereafter and the Rebels capitalized, finishing it in four with an 8-3 run to close it out.

“It’s not a great thing to start [a game] with,” second-year Spartans Coach Otto Lacayo said. “The kids got frustrated. They fought back, though.”

Lacayo’s Spartans were paced by 28 kills from Mel Schroeder and 19 from Connor Walbrecht, who also tallied 24 digs.

The two combined for eight kills in the first game, in which the Spartans never trailed after breaking a 16-16 tie. Neither team could gain much separation, as the largest lead in the opening game was five at 24-19 in favor of La Cañada, which surrendered the next three points before securing the win.

The Spartans overcame four service errors in the frame.

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