Flintridge Prep lost to Westridge on Tuesday, but that was to be expected. After a few foul-ups and miscommunications by Prep cost them the first game, 12-25, it looked like Westridge was going to sweep easily.
â€œWe did not look good in that first game,â€ Prep Coach Sean Beattie said, who went on to say that a few of the girls were playing in the first game and playing nervous. â€œWe were shanking balls hit right at us and overpassing. But after the end of the first, I said, 'Hey, relax. There's no need to be nervous.â€
Let the evidence show that the girls took his advice and the Rebels (3-5, 0-4 in league) played a lot tougher in the second and third games, despite losing 21-25 and 23-25. They lost 3-0 in the match, but showed a lot more resiliance and hinted at the future talent of the team.
The Rebels were, after all, outmatched in height.
That first set was a disaster, though. Setter Casey Meurer was running all over the place and libero Anina Denove, who was playing in place of regular libero Tori Glebocki, who was out celebrating the Jewish new year, struggled in the role at first. Down 9-24 on game point, the Rebels spurred off a few points and ended losing the game 12-25 and looking more comfortable.
By game two, the Rebels were matching wits. A strong kill by Lydia Kay and a couple of strong serves got the Rebels their first lead of the match, 9-8.
The Rebels kept that lead for a while, holding it until Westridge tied it 16-16 and took the lead on a four-touch by Prep.
Westridge looked like they were going to run away with this set too, taking a 17-21 lead, but Prep continued fighting and lost the game 21-25.
In the third game, Prep brought their game together. Blocks by Alex Baptiste and Meurer led to a couple of points and Marin Seifert led the team with 12 kills.
The two teams went back and fourth, Westridge gaining as much as a four-point lead and Prep tying it up with four straight points. A Kristen McAleenan kill followed by a Seifert ace drew the teams tied at 21-21 and another solid serve that couldn't be dug by Baptiste gave the Rebels a 23-22 lead. But Westridge overcame and took the final game, 23-25.
Coach Sean Beattie has been giving his girls grades all year on their performances.
â€œWe're getting better,â€ Beattie said. â€œAt the beginning of the year, [...] we played C-plus. Today, we were right at the B-minus range.â€
The Rebels move on to play Chadwick tomorrow in search of their first league win.