Rebels fall to rival Panthers

 Whether he sat on the bench or paced while cradling his clipboard, Flintridge Prep girls' volleyball Coach Sean Beattie sensed something unusual.

While piling up victories throughout the first several weeks of the season, Beattie watched the Rebels use a recipe of crisp passing and a tenacious defense to smother opponents.

That formula disappeared Wednesday afternoon during Flintridge Prep's 25-13, 25-18, 25-18 Prep League home loss against rival Pasadena Poly.

"It was strange and we came out flat," said Beattie, whose team dropped to 7-4 and 1-2 in league. "The things we do best are defense, passing and serving, and today we couldn't pass the ball to save our lives.

"At the end of the first two games, we had eight positive passes. When our passing is down, everything goes downhill."

As a result, Flintridge Prep never get on track against a Pasadena Poly squad that improved to 7-0 and 3-0 in league and is ranked third in the latest CIF Southern Section Division 3-AA poll behind league foe Chadwick and Santa Ynez.

Pasadena Poly's middle blocker, Alexis Genske, made things even more difficult for Flintridge Prep, which will get another shot at the Panthers on Oct. 23 at Pasadena Poly.

"They are a big team and they knew where the ball was going," said Beattie, who received 14 digs from Tori Glebocki and 12 assists from Casey Meurer. "It was their offense against our defense. The way we played was unexpected, especially the first two games. It's a loss and you move on. You dwell on it, you'll be done."

The Panthers were led by Genske, who finished with a match-best 15 kills. Teammate Michelle Miller contributed seven kills.

"I have to say that [Flintridge Prep was] too excited to play us," Pasadena Poly Coach Steve Beerman said. "Their emotions and enthusiasm overtook their skills.

"They are better than what they showed today. Anytime you can come out of here and win in three it's good. Our star players played real well."

Pasadena Poly took a 9-4 lead in the first game, forcing Beattie to call timeout and try to quickly regroup his squad. It didn't work, as the Panthers used a 15-5 run to make it 24-10.

Flintridge Prep raced to a 5-1 lead in the second game on an ace from Kate Woolley, but the Panthers recovered from the early deficit to take a 13-9 lead on an ace from Mimi Morrish and never looked back.

A kill by Julia Miller gave the Rebels a 5-2 advantage in the third game. Three straight kills by Genske helped give the Panthers a 14-13 lead. The Rebels pulled to within 19-17, but the Panthers used a 6-1 run to complete the sweep.

Miller and Kelly Wang finished with three kills apiece for Flintridge Prep.

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