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Flintridge Prep boys' volleyball's title celebration put on hold by Chadwick

Volleyball: Rebels surrender three straight games in 3-2 loss that now leaves squad with must-win on Tuesday versus archrival Poly.

May 02, 2014|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com

PALOS VERDES PENINSULA — With an opportunity to clinch a league championship and simultaneously knock out a title aspirant, the Flintridge Prep boys’ volleyball team instead was treated to a rude awakening Friday afternoon.

The reigning Prep League champion Rebels won their first two games versus host Chadwick before surrendering the next three sets and at least part of their crown in an 18-25, 23-25, 25-12, 25-19, 15-12 defeat.

With the win, Chadwick (18-4, 7-1) clinched a share of the league championship and also forced CIF Southern Section Division IV seventh-ranked Flintridge Prep (16-5, 6-1) to defeat archrival Pasadena Poly in the team’s season finale on Tuesday in order for the Rebels to salvage half the league championship.

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“A loss like this is going to sting,” Flintridge Prep Coach Sean Beattie said. “If you want to be mad about it, be mad about it, but let it go at midnight because you still have another game left to go and you can still win a championship.”

Momentum was on Dolphins’ side heading into the fifth game, as Chadwick fed off the support of a boisterous crowd on senior day by taking a 10-8 lead on a kill from senior outside hitter Carter Chillingworth that perfectly split between defenders Aldridge Kim and Kyle Law in the back row.

While Flintridge Prep pulled even on a service error followed by one of sophomore outside hitter Dante Fregoso’s match-high 36 kills, Chadwick rallied.

The Dolphins scored four straight points in reaching match-point, 14-10, on an ace from sophomore Xavier Proctor.

Flintridge Prep battled back with a kill from Fregoso and a Dolphins’ attacking error to pull within 14-12.

Unfortunately for the Rebels, their title hopes were put in limbo when Dolphins junior Connor Lucier (13 kills) blasted a perfectly placed kill just inbounds to secure the victory.

“I don’t think Connor could have possibly hit the ball any harder on that kill,” Dolphins Coach Michael Cass said of his team’s comeback. “It’s just one of those things for us. There wasn’t anything said differently.

“I had the same message for the team before the match and after they dropped the first two sets. They just listened, relaxed, showed maturity, limited their mistakes and slowly came back. You can’t win three straight until you win the first game.”

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