Hard Fought Win for Rebels NVL Men in an Intense Fiver Set Game
This weekend the Essex Rebels Men’s Superleague team went up against Leeds Gorse Volleyball Club in an intense fiver set game. The team welcomed back opposite attacker Kyle Vom Steeg, after suffering an injury two weeks prior. They looked to grab the first set, but despite smart offence from Thomas Jefferson (TJ) and Andrew Wood through the middle, the strong serving and intense attack of Leeds opposite Nelson Murangawa they lost set point 24-26, to three consecutive kills from the Leeds opposite.
Heading into set 2 we saw Vom Steeg get some rhythm back on offence and match Nelson through the opposite. However, the men allowed Leeds to gain a four-point lead leaving the score 10-6. This along with a loss in confidence at offence and errors made in defence caused the men to give away the second set 25-18. After two unfortunate setbacks the men’s team faced a pumped and ready Leeds offence, starting out strong with a six-point lead, 15-9. Rebels setter Euan Fraser didn’t let the pressure get to him and fought back with strong sets to the middles, which allowed them to close the point difference, middle Wood entering a service run and gaining points on Leeds. Tension grew on the Leeds side and a red card was issued to their team which flipped momentum onto the Rebels and gained them their first set 25-23.
With the hopes higher and offence better developed the Rebels went into set 4 determined and their serve receive unit passed easy balls for Fraser to feed into TJ and Wood to kill on the floor, with pin hitter Thomas Shatimehin dominating on the pin. Vom Steeg utilised Leeds block efficiently however was substituted for William Ragland due to injury, and they won the fourth set 25-15. With a tense fifth set ahead a starting six change was made with Ragland staying in as opposite and Osbourne back in on outside, Leeds Nelson beat Rebels block and allowed them to gain a three-point lead early on 8-5. However, Wood went back to serve at 12-10 down and accompanied by a destructive block from TJ shook Leeds confidence. A kill from Ragland, followed by the finishing spike from Shatimehin finished the set 15-13, with the Rebels dominating in the end.
Head coach Alex Porter commented on the game, “the Rebels showed real character today, being 2-0 down and on the verge of defeat to come back and win with such confidence will pay dividends as the season progresses. All credits to Leeds they pushed us almost to the limit, but our experience shone through when it mattered.”