Rebels NVL Women Battle Against SideOut Polonia London

March 12, 2024
Another Strong Display of Volleyball this Weekend in Intense Game Between Essex Rebels and SideOut Polonia London.

This Sunday the Essex Rebels faced their final foe of the league games, SideOut Polonia in an intense match up, this being the last game on home soil for the Rebels, emotions were high. Set one consisted of an incredible display of volleyball from the Rebels as they managed to dull down the offense from the seasoned opposition just across the net. Incredible serve receive allowed them to set up a strong side out game from the first point and keep Polonia in a permanent defensive position for the set. With this they kept their rhythm in game, allowing middles Catherine Tolley and Grace Igbokwe to form an astounding block against Polonia’s strongest attacker, the renowned Maria Sviridova, slowing down her vicious attacks. This gave the edge to the Rebels building their strength and feeding their offense with confidence, causing them to close the set down 23-25.

Unfortunately, the Rebels own energy carried them away from the first set intensity and they became stuck in a serve receive rotation, leading to a big point difference in Polonia’s favour. This disastrous beginning ran away for the home team, despite some fantastic decision making front court from Kathryn Attar and Lea Borovec the second set fell into Polonia’s hands 25-15.

With a now even score board, both teams headed back into the match with strong offense, ready to prove themselves for the upcoming playoffs in which they could potentially face again. Set 3 was a defensive masterclass from both teams, as long rallies held the home crowd on the edges of their seats. Madoka Weldon (MVP) displayed her ability to read the opposition as she picked up ball after ball every point. This accompanied with the strong offence from Attar and Borovec allowed a lead for the Rebels, putting them in favour of the set. With tactical time outs from Polonia’s head coach the opposition gained their nerve again and came back with strong serving and managing to regain the score difference. This entered the teams into a race to close the set, with strong swings from the pin hitters on both side and a formidable block against Polonia the points stayed close till the end. But with their renewed energy under their wings Polonia entered a practiced clinical offense, in which they demonstrated their experienced and skilled team closing down the third set 25-22.

The new energy for Polonia meant they entered a formidable offense and serve leading to repetition in the second set as the Rebels were caught in a serve receive rotation. With this deficiency in the score line, Polonia’s confidence became untouchable, and they soared through the fourth set. Despite the Rebels regaining points with their ball skills and decision making, they managed to chip at this lead slightly, but Polonia closed the game down 3-1 with a final set score of 14-25.

Head C oach Alex Chinery reflected on the game heading into the Super League final four, using it as an opportunity for growth and commenting “we showed at times today that we can compete with the best teams in the country. Our performance in set 1 was brilliant, some of the best volleyball we have played all year. But if you lose focus against a team this good, they punish you. Lots of lessons learned ahead of the final four. Which we will now start to prepare for.”

Rebels Women 1:3 SideOut Polonia London

MVP: Madoka Weldon

25:23, 15:25, 22:25, 14:25

Essex Rebels Team Huddle
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