game report graphic
game report graphic

Injury Hit Rebels Who Fall in Thriller Against Cambridge 

March 05, 2024

The Essex Rebels made the short trip to Cambridge to face off against their most local rivals in the Volleyball England Super League on Saturday. The Rebels were missing two of their top talents due to injury, with two more playing through minor knocks. The young Rebels side put up an incredible fight against their opponents, who’s team featured an assortment of international athletes, but couldn’t quite come away with the win, pipped 16-14 in a tight fifth set in which they had already clawed back a 7-2 deficit. 

The first set began with Rebels on the defensive. With Cambridge’s serve and block defence causing the Rebels problems. However, with MVP Kathryn Attar leading the passing unit, the Rebels found some stability, giving setter Ellen Floyd a platform from which to run their offence. As the tight first set came to a close, offence from middle blockers Saskia Frietas and Grace Igbokwe abled the Rebels to steal a tight first set that they had trailed for much of. Into set 2 and Cambridge roared back into the game again behind some impressive serving. This allowed them to open up a lead that the Rebels were unable to close and led to Cambridge taking the second set, despite the smart offence of outside hitter and former Tendring Technology College pupil Emily Priestley, who deputised for the injured Lea Borovec. 

Set 3 began with the Rebels finding their groove from the service line and in the block. Substitute Middle Blocker Catherine Tolley, rested for the first two sets as she recovers from a knee injury, made an instant impact with four huge roof blocks as the Rebels began to make Cambridge look predictable. The Rebels offence started to purr as well, with Attar finding kills and taking the Rebels to set victory. However, changes from Cambridge in the fourth set flipped some momentum back to their side. Outside hitter Bailey Andrews was substituted on and made a real impact on offence. After Cambridge opened up a big lead of their own, Rebels coach Alex Chinery made a change himself, bringing in Leah Blight. Blight and Attar teamed up to lead a fightback, but the gap was too big, the game went to a deciding set. 

The decider started poorly for Rebels, who got stuck in one service rotation and allowed Cambridge to open up a big 5-point lead. Still trailing by 4 at the change of ends, the Rebels locked in, their serve receive unit started to pass effectively and they built pressure from the service line to close the gap to 14-14. However, they weren’t able to complete the most spectacular of comebacks as Cambridge used their experience to hold their nerve and take the game. At the conclusion of the game Rebels coach Alex Chinery said the following, “It is always tough to come to Cambridge, especially when you’re as affected by injury and illness as we were this week. We put up an incredible fight against a good team, but just couldn’t get it done today. I’m proud of our younger players that grabbed their opportunities with both hands and performed well. With our place in the final 4 secured, it was good to see what our squad had to offer.” The Rebels play their last home game of the season at the Essex Sport Arena on Sunday March 10th against league leaders Polonia SideOut London. 

Cambridge 3:2 Rebels 

MVP: Kathryn Attar 

24:26, 25:21, 17:25, 25:18, 16:14 

Essex Rebels Team Huddle
Buy tickets

Don’t miss our next big game

Come and see fast-paced, action-packed, top-level professional basketball in a first-class venue. Match days offer family-friendly entertainment including a DJ, big screen, cheerleaders, interactive competitions, children’s activities, refreshments, and our larger-than-life mascot, Queen B.

We Are Rebels – come join the rebellion!

Book Tickets