NORTHEAST GLENDALE — If Friday afternoon's Prep League girls' tennis match between Flintridge Prep and Chadwick is a precursor to how the rematch will fare in a couple weeks, then it's simply going to be another riveting contest between the two rivals.
The first round went to Chadwick, but by a narrow margin. The two squads won nine sets apiece but Chadwick — ranked No. 1 in CIF Southern Section Division II — won on points, 71-68, to hand the Rebels their first loss of the season in its league opener.
"We dropped way too many games, and some players played lousy," Flintridge Prep Coach Ron Catano said. "There is no way around it.
"Against a team this good, you have to play at a high level."
Despite not showing their best effort, the Rebels were leading, 9-8, with the final doubles match yet to be decided. Then, with the two teams tied at 65, Christina Cing and Kate Paulsen of Chadwick (6-1, 3-0 in league) walked out with a clutch 6-3 set and match victory.
The Rebels (7-1, 0-1) dominated singles, as Kira Lee and Jenise Vargas won in straight sets over opponents Montana Morgan, Natalie Shuck and Sydney Chav. Vargas only gave up two games in her three sets, while Lee gave up three.
Freshman Roya Guessari defeated Chav, 6-4, but dropped her other two sets. Catano, however, said Guessari was one of the few bright spots.
Chadwick's No. 1 doubles team of Madison Webster and Ally Melidee swept their opponents 6-4, 6-0, 6-1. As a squad, Chadwick dropped two sets in doubles play.
"It could have gone either way," Chadwick Coach Carolyn Leach said. "We just happened to get those couple games that gave us the win."
"We didn't concentrate enough," said Catano, who said he expects a different outcome next time around. "We just have to play better."
Catano also said injuries caused him to switch up his doubles teams at the last minute, something he hopes to avoid as the season progresses, most importantly on the road against Chadwick.