Rebels NVL Women get the Win in their First Game of 2024
This Sunday Essex Rebels faced Leeds Gorse in an exciting home game after their 3-2 intense comeback before December. Heading into the first set Ellen Floyd led with strong service placing the Leeds in a 2–9 point deficit. Rebel’s offence flew out of the traps from the get-go scoring with their wide spread on the net and clever matchups with Leeds blockers, finalising their lead with fantastic serving, Rebels took the first set 25-20.
With high energy on the Rebels side of court, Leeds came back stronger and started with a faster offence, their hitters Borrowdale and Garnero winning points on intelligent swinging. Head coach Alex Chinery utilising the large squad to sub on debut setter Chelsea Simmons who used her spatial awareness on second ball attacks to keep the Rebels ahead. With her new energy on court the middles were brought into the game causing trouble for Leeds, Brian Carmody finishing off the offence with big swings through opposite closing the second set down 25-23.
An unfortunate third set ensued as Leeds opened up a formidable side out game matching the Rebel girls’. Middles Saskia Frietas and Catherine Tolley, providing strong blocking to keep Rebels in favour, however the strong service run from Garnero on Leeds broke through and won them the set 17-25.
Coming into the tense fourth set, another tactical change by Chinery was made with Grace Igbokwe coming into the middle. With this new match up, the outside hitters fed off the fresh legs on court and started to score with a proficient playbook of intelligent plays and power hits. Closing out the defence with strong blocking the Rebels finished off the final set winning the game with ease 25-13, setter Chelsea Simmons winning MVP of her first game.
Head coach Alex Chinery commenting, “todays win gets us a very important 3 points, putting us in the driving seat for the race for playoff qualifications. After some tough games before Christmas, it felt good to get back to winning ways in emphatic fashion at home. The team is coming together nicely as we head towards crunch time in the season.”
Rebels Women 3:1 Leeds Gorse
25-20, 25-23, 17-25, 25-13
MVP: Chelsea Simmons