St. Francis High volleyball team gets past Flintridge Prep

LA CANADA — Handling an increased work load suits Charles McCarthy fine.

The St. Francis High senior volleyball player doesn't mind being the main offensive threat for the Golden Knights, though there's a preference to provide him with some assistance.

McCarthy stepped up again and enjoyed another big effort Monday, as he recorded 13 kills to help visiting St. Francis record a 25-17, 25-20,19-25, 25-21 nonleague win against neighbor Flintridge Prep.

"There's a lot of weight on me to perform offensively," said McCarthy, an outside hitter who helped the Golden Knights advance to the playoffs last season. "I like that because everybody depends on me.

"We are a relatively young team now. There are high expectations, and we have some solid players. There's lots of potential to keep improving."

St. Francis (2-2) won its second match in a row. The Golden Knights received 13 kills and nine assists from Chris Thompson and 23 assists from David Thompson to fend off the short-handed Rebels (0-2).

The Rebels were without Chadd Cosse, Tyler Weakland, Kareem Ismail, Jedrick Eugenio and Harrison Jung on Monday. The quintet is also members of the school's basketball team, which advanced to the CIF State Basketball Championships. Cosse, Weakland and Ismail are starters on the volleyball team.

Flintridge Prep performed considerably better Monday after beginning its season Friday by getting swept in a nonleague match by visiting La Cañada.

"We were a lot better today, so I'm happy with that," said Flintridge Prep Coach Sean Beattie, who got 10 kills from Dante Fregoso and 28 assists from Mike Lii. "We started to play more together by covering for each other.

"We were much better with our passing, but we had 21 missed serves. That's the biggest issue I had today. The times where we had the missed serves hurt us the most during key parts of each game."

St. Francis stormed out to early leads in the first two games, building 8-2 advantages.

In the first game, a kill by McCarthy gave the Golden Knights a 24-11 lead. Flintridge Prep fought off six game points to close to within 24-17 before St. Francis wrapped it up on a serving error by the Rebels.

St. Francis built another big lead in the second game. After St. Francis took a 12-6 lead on a kill by Chris Thompson, Flintridge Prep used a 6-0 run to tie it at 12, capped by a kill by Chris Zaro.

The Golden Knights then used an 11-4 spurt to grab a 23-16 lead, but a 4-0 run by the Rebels trimmed the deficit to 23-20. A kill by McCarthy made it 24-20 before the Golden Knights recorded the final point to take a 2-0 lead.

Flintridge Prep took its first lead of the match in the third game. A block by Michael Leslie, who finished with eight kills and five blocks, gave Flintridge Prep a 12-11 advantage. The Rebels extended their lead to 16-11 on a kill by Fregoso. A kill by McCarthy brought St. Francis to within 19-19, but Flintridge Prep finished up on a 6-1 run. Kurt Kozacik posted a kill to clinch the game for the Rebels.

McCarthy registered a kill to give St. Francis a 15-11 lead in the fourth game. He closed out the match with a kill.

St. Francis Coach Mark Frazee said McCarthy responded again for the Golden Knights.

"He's just been steady the whole time," Frazee said. "He causes a lot of trouble for the other teams.

"He's been able to put the ball away, serve great and block and pass well. We need to help him out and not put as much pressure on him."

charles.rich@latimes.com

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