Rebels struggle in home opener

Published 9:50 pm Thursday, September 7, 2023

Chambers Academy hosted Fort Dale on Thursday for its first home game of the season. It turned out to be a disappointing home opener for the Rebels as the Eagles won the match in straight sets. 

Chambers Academy lost the first set 25-21, the second 25-9 and the third set 25-17. The loss dropped the Rebels’ to 1-4 on the season. 

It has been a season of disappointment so far for Chambers Academy. Going into her second season as a head coach, Jessica Patterson expected more out of her team. After the loss to Fort Dale, Patterson did not mince words.

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“Honestly, I don’t think anybody wants to hear my thoughts on the game right now,” Patterson said. “I think that they are not mentally tough enough to go out there and win games. That is exactly how I feel. I think that they have all the skills, they look fantastic at practice, and they cannot transfer practice into the game.” 

The team’s attitude and energy in the game has been an issue this season. Patterson believes that the girls get down on themselves once they fall behind on the scoreboard. 

“I think one thing goes wrong, and mentally they shut down completely,” Patterson said. “They will never win games if they continue to be like that.” 

The Rebels had an outstanding size advantage at the net, but it did not show during the match. Fort Dale was able to get kills consistently, and the Eagles were able to block several potential kills from Chambers Academy. 

“Because they’re smart up there,” Patterson said. “They find the holes, and it doesn’t have to be an attack every time. They find it, and they put it in the hole every time. They were smarter at the net.” 

A large part of the issue for the Rebels was an inability to set up their best players for kills. Passing is going to be a point of emphasis for the team moving forward. 

“I don’t think we have a setting problem, I think we have a passing problem,” Patterson said. 

Despite the tough loss, there were some bright spots for the Rebels. When the team could set her up, Kelsea Harmon was fairly dominant. Harmon had three blocks and seven kills in the match. Most of Harmon’s stats came in the first and last set. 

The path to a second win does not get any easier for the Rebels. Up next on the schedule is a matchup against Glenwood — winner of three straight state championships.