LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — Following Flintridge Prep's loss to Pasadena Poly in Prep League play on April 26, Rebels Coach Sean Beattie voiced confidence in his team to do what needed to be done — win the final two matches of the season and get into the playoffs.
"We should get in," Beattie had said after losing to the Panthers in five games. "We've swept the other two teams [Webb and Rio Hondo Prep] this season, but you never know."
Fast forward two weeks, when the Rebels went into the season finale against Rio Hondo Prep with another must win situation after sweeping Webb just three days prior.
The Rebels backed up their coach's comments with yet another sweep, this time over the Kares, clinching third place in the Prep League and a playoff berth with a 25-20, 25-21, 26-24 victory.
"We had hoped to split with Poly, but it's good to bounce back and make the playoffs," Beattie said. "I still don't think we're playing our best volleyball, but there isn't too much time to fix that now."
Kieren Mulroy led the team with 27 assists in the clincher against the Kares (10-10, 1-7) with Kenyatta Smith, Jordy Manker and Michael Ellis combining for 16 kills.
"I wanted everybody to play, including the kids who had only played a couple games all year, because you never know when someone will need to be called on," said Beattie, whose team finished with a 4-4 mark in league play with a 10-13 overall record.
Smith led the team in kills for the season with 167. Mulroy tallied 515 assists to pace the team in the department.
The Rebels won four of their last six with the two losses coming to the two teams ahead of them in the league standings — Chadwick and Poly.
As the third seed, Beattie will call practice for today in preparation for a possible wild-card match on Monday. The CIF office will release the pairings on Monday.
"Being the third seed, we'll have to play four games in six days," Beattie said. "We're ready for the playoffs."