volleyball game report women vs durham palatinates
volleyball game report women vs durham palatinates

Rebels NVL Women Fall Just Short in Nail-Biting National Cup Semifinal

February 27, 2024

On Saturday, the Rebels faced undefeated Durham Palatines in a tense game of the best volleyball in the country. With pressure on both teams to show their worth, the Rebels started fast with Captain Kathryn Attar’s setting the tone with a huge roof on point 2. Unfazed, Durham eased back into the game with their usual strength on offense, however Essex matched their side out game with good decision making and determination. However, with their formidable players and strong nerve, Durham took the set 20-25.

Completely undeterred by the first set, the Rebels went into the next with more determination and proved their grit from the first ball. With their heads held high excellent serve receive allowed setter Ellen Floyd to utilise the middle channel more. Saskia Frietas and Catherine Tolley used this opportunity to score vital points throughout the sets and with this energy the Rebels added strong serving into the mix putting all the pressure on Durham. With this they were able to lock onto Durham’s attack and take the set by shutting down the opposition with strong blocking 26-24.

With both teams taking losses, the Palatines changed flipped tactically and came back strong, gaining an early lead. 8 points down, head coach Alex Chinery changes the tactics and subs on Chelsea Simmons for a 6-2 setting system and the Rebels started away until a momentary stop in a game for a bad injury on Durham’s side. Durham’s outside managed to score enough to keep them ahead and take the third set 25-21.

Close to the finish line Durham felt the pressure from an undiscouraged Essex Rebels who were serving them off the court, whilst maintaining the ball with strong defence meaning Durham had to work hard for every ball. With the established 6-2 system the Rebels thrust themselves into the set with all their energy and fight, but the game management and years of experience behind Durham allowed them to take the game 25-22.

With no shame over the loss, the Rebels walked away proud of their performance and unwavering commitment throughout the whole game, Alex Chinery commented “I’m so incredibly proud of the team’s performance today. To come up against a team that is unbeaten this season and force them into their best performance of the year to beat us says it all about how well this group played. Our middles, Cath, and Saskia, two of the least experienced athletes on the floor were outstanding. It’s bitterly disappointing to not make it to the cup final, but today’s game gives us valuable experience of wait it is going to take to beat our opponents ahead of the Super League Final 4.”

Durham Women 3:1 Essex Rebels Women

MVP: Catherine Tolley

20-25, 26-24, 21-25, 22-25

Essex Rebels Team Huddle
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