GLENDALE — With a solid group of seniors having graduated, some assumed 2010 would be a rebuilding year for the Flintridge Prep boys' volleyball team.
But the program's foundation remained strong and the Rebels simply continued to build on their strong tradition by going 16-8 and capturing their first Prep League championship since 2003.
Five Rebels were named to the All-Prep League team, including first-team selections Edmund Chow and Kenyatta Smith, who spearheaded Prep's 6-2 run through league to claim a tri-title with Pasadena Poly and Chadwick.
"Those two guys were kind of the cornerstones of our team," Rebels Coach Sean Beattie said. "If one of them was off, we were not as strong and I think between the two of them they had about 60-70% of our offense.
"It was a huge duo for us."
Chow, a senior outside hitter, made a seamless transition from playing libero the previous season to lead the team this year in digs with 221 and serve-receive with 287 receptions, while also totaling 211 kills.
"It feels good because we worked hard this year, so I think we progressed a lot from last year," Chow said. "Playing a different position, it took a lot of getting used to and showing that I could achieve that.
"Of course Yatta was very deserving of what he did because without him, we would have had a lot of trouble in the middle."
Smith, a junior middle blocker, was a potent weapon at the net, tallying team highs of 221 kills and 101 blocks.
"It's great to be able to do well in a sport that's not your main sport and make a contribution to the team, but it was also a lot of fun," said Smith, who is an all-league center on the school's basketball team. "Coach Beattie helped me work on my swing a lot, we were working on blocking. A lot of stuff that I didn't really think about last year came a lot easier this year."
Opposite hitter Chris Davis, outside hitter Nolan Jimbo and middle blocker Philip Montoya, all seniors, earned second-team accolades.
Davis recorded 65 kills and a team-high 26 aces to go along with 121 digs and 75 receptions.
"Chris Davis was a huge boost for the team, not only as an opposite, but there were times when had to step in and set," Beattie said.
Jimbo was third on the team with 115 Kills and also had 24 aces, 164 digs and 155 receptions.
"Nolan was just a steady, steady player," Beattie said. "He's not that guy who's gonna blow you away offensively, but he's not gonna make 100 errors. He's gonna put the ball in play and when he gets a good set, he's gonna put the ball down for you."
Montoya moved from the outside last season to the middle and contributed 100 kills, 40 blocks and 14 aces this year.
"That was big of him to step into that position when we weren't 100% sure who was gonna take that spot," Beattie said.
The league's most valuable player honor went to Pasadena Poly senior Evan Robinson.