Lessons Learned from Loss to Malory Eagles

February 21, 2024

In Sunday’s match up the Essex Rebels went up against Malory Eagles, following the news of Essex Rebels’ qualification through to the Super League Final 4. But with Malory’s playoff position still in the air, the opposition pulled an excellent game out of the bag and exampled a clever game of strength and strategy. The Rebels used their opposite Brianne Carmody to power through the block, combined with clever offensive tips from outside Kathryn Attar, the score stayed close through into the twenties. With a huge push to win the set, the Malory’s middle blockers dominated the net, combined with the height and strength of Malory’s Grace Lazard through opposite, the Rebels struggled to side out and lost the pressure built up in the set, losing the first set 23-25.

Heading into the second set Essex’s Madoka Weldon (MVP) proved her strength as the teams sole Libero by picking up every ball that came her way, exampling her importance in keeping the game moving as the Rebel’s continued their struggles against the block. Head coach Alex Chinery made the substitution of Carmody for Chelsea Simmons for the now perfected 6-2 system, allowing maximum hitting opportunities. However, with the momentum on Malory’s side they maintained a strong lead and utilised their main hitter Lazard and outside Chloe Allen to score points with their skill in offence. Attar kept the difference minimal with her attacking range, using tips, roll shots, and perfected power swing on the ball and the middles started impacting the game. Flying through the set, Malory managed to pull away with a series of strong offensive moves, just beating the Rebel’s with their blocking, taking the set 17-25.

With this momentum on their side Malory cranked up the service pressure and threw the rebels side out game off completely allowing their block to completely dominate the game. But with a final decision to sub off 3 players for fresh legs on the bench. Chinery gave the rebels new energy and Leah Blight tried to lessen the score difference with her smart offence, but the gap was too big, and they lost the game to a set score 14-25. With their first loss in the new year dealt Head Coach Chinery reflected “we were slightly off our game today and credit to Malory they took full advantage. They have a very talented squad, and anything less than our best wasn’t enough. We had some bright moments, from which we can take positives as we head into a big week of knockout fixtures. We go again next week against Durham.”

Essex Rebels 0:3 Malory Eagles UEL

MVP Madoka Weldon

Essex Rebels Team Huddle
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