Home Sweep by the Essex Rebels placing them at Second in the League
This weekend Essex Rebels went up against Coventry and Warwick Riga and Darkstar Derbyshire in a double header at home. First up on the Saturday the Rebels fought Coventry and Riga in a 3-0 sweep with the Rebels side out game building pressure on the opposition after a close start. Followed by excellent service runs from both Ellen Floyd and Catherine Tolley, the latter gaining MVP, to close set one comfortably for the home team 25-16.
The second set saw another strong performance from the rebels as they executed fantastic attacking skill, gaining them a 10 point lead. This allowed Head Coach Alex Chinery to try out a new offensive strategy with a 6-2 setter system utilising the skillset of his players, Floyd and new starter Chelsea Simmons, the ability of both allowing the home team to close down the second set swiftly 25-14. Floyd recorded a fantastic game with 22 assists and 10 digs across two positions. Heading into the third set Coach Chinery rotated the squad which allowed some younger players to get court time including Emily Priestly who recorded a perfect 3.0 pass rating. With these new establishments it was a close set as the team had a momentary wobble in confidence and stopped executing their game plan.
But after a quick time out from which Coach Chinery pumped the team back up, an adjusted mentality meant they started performing again and came back from a 5 point deficit to win the set 25-22, with Kathryn Attar putting up a high performance of 12 kills across the game the Rebels walked away with heads high.
With a win under their belt already this weekend the girls went into their Darkstar game strong. Set one and two of the game easily obtained from the efficient offense (25-18, 25-14), a sharp defensive eye from Libero Madoka Weldon, MVP of the game, created a highlight reel of her own defensive pickups and communication skills.
With a starter change for set 3 Darkstar saw an opportunity to creep back into the game and utilised the shift in pressure from the Rebels. With a strong fight to finish the game, Darkstar subbed on their former GB Olympian to serve them through to a fourth set 21-25, leaving the Rebels under pressure to perform and avoid a five setter.
Coach Chinery pushed his girls back into a formidable mentality and played his strongest six back on court for a swift fourth set, with emphatic service and heads fully locked onto the finish line, the Rebels took home a second win this weekend 25-18. Coach Chinery commented that “it was a really solid weekend for the group. To come away with two comfortable wins that put us in second place for at least the next couple of weeks, its just a really nice reward for the huge efforts this group has made since the new year. At times we were spectacular and should be pleased with our performances.”