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Flintridge Prep boys' volleyball takes key match versus Chadwick

Volleyball: Rebels win Prep League contest, 3-1, on Tuesday to take pivotal lead versus Dolphins.

April 15, 2014|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com
  • Flintridge Prep's Dante Fregoso, who finished with 22 kills and 22 digs, tips the ball past Chadwick's Kyle Civale during a Prep League match on Tuesday. The Rebels won, 3-1. (Roger Wilson/Staff Photographer)
Flintridge Prep's Dante Fregoso, who finished…

LA CAÑADA — Thanks to a friendly homecourt advantage, a key absence and the power of hitters Trip Westmoreland and Dante Fregoso, the Flintridge Prep boys’ volleyball team took a big step toward defending its Prep League championship.

PHOTOS: Flintridge Prep vs. Chadwick boys' volleyball

The Rebels came within a point of pulling off a sweep, but settled for a 25-21, 25-21, 26-28, 25-17 victory over the visiting Dolphins to go undefeated through the first round of league play on Tuesday afternoon in a meeting of the league’s last two champions.

“I wasn’t really happy with the way we played in the third game,” Rebels Coach Sean Beattie said. “When you have a chance to close someone out the way we did, leading 24-20, you have to do that.

“But, having said that, I’m happy with the way we responded in the fourth game, that was key. I know Chadwick was missing their big guy, their setter, but it’s good to get that win.”

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With the victory, the CIF Southern Section Division IV fifth-ranked Rebels improved to 12-4 this season and are 4-0 in league, a match ahead of now second-place Chadwick (10-2, 3-1).

Perhaps one of the little known advantages the Rebels own at home is their low ceiling, which particularly played havoc on the Dolphins on Tuesday.

Chadwick hit into either the ceiling or cross beam directly above center court seven times, which often stunted the team’s progress.

Such was the case in the clinching fourth game, when Chadwick attempted to rally from a quick 3-1 hole and pulled to within 8-7 on a combo block from Ryan Apfel and Xavier Proctor.

On the very next possession, Dolphins junior Connor Lucier popped up a low dig that appeared destined for a potentially game-tying and momentum-shifting kill.

Yet, the ball smacked directly off the ceiling and right to the floor, which cost Chadwick a valuable point.

Flintridge Prep seized momentum off the play to score six of the next 10 points in taking a 16-11 lead on a kill from 6-foot-4 sophomore outside hitter Dante Fregoso, who led all players with 22 kills, 22 digs and two aces.

“We knew this was a big match,” Fregoso said. “Coach had told us that we needed to take advantage of the situation and we did that at the end of the game.”

Up five, the Rebels held off a mini surge from the Dolphins, who pulled within 18-16 on a Rebels’ attacking error.

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