Chennai Blitz defeated Kochi Blue Spikers in a five-set thriller at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru, Karnataka in its first match of the second season of Prime Volleyball League on Tuesday.
In a match that went right down to the wire, the Blitz came out victorious, winning the match 15-9, 11-15, 15-10, 8-15, 15-9. Naveen Raja Jacob was named as the Player of the Match.
The Blitz earned the opening point with Renato Mendes’ powerful spike. A minute later, with another tremendous strike, Mendes earned the second point for his side. Three consecutive serve errors from the Blitz allowed Kochi Blue Spikers to equalise, but Y V Sita Rama Raju’s block allowed the yellow brigade to regain its lead. Using his long height, Dushyanth sent a tap over the net to reduce the gap for the Spikers. With a super point on offer, Blitz made an error further giving the Blues two crucial points. But fantastic blocks from skipper Naveen Raja Jacob ensured the Blitz stayed ahead, and took the first set 15-9.
The Spikers took a 3-0 lead in the second set but the lead was soon reduced to one point at 8-7. Dushyanth’s block went wayward and the Blitz levelled the scoreline in the set. Rohit Kumar’s block gave Kochi Blue Spikers back-to-back super points, after which Raman Kumar’s erroneous serve gave Kochi a 15-11 win in the second set to level the score.
Chennai dominated the third set and was five points ahead when Naveen smashed the ball with bullet-like speed on the opposition’s end. Abhinav’s serve struck the net and the Blitz won the set 15-10 to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Just like the second set, the Spikers fought back again and took a 8-5 lead. As Naveen’s ambitious shot landed outside, the Spikers extended the lead by five points. With two consecutive spikes, Mohamed Riyazudeen reduced the deficit. As the Blitz called for the Super Points, Erin’s spike gave Spikers two crucial points, and he followed it up with another delicious hit to win the set 15-8 for his team, pushing the match to the final set.
However, the Spikers could not carry the momentum into the final set and fell 5-8 behind. With a wayward block from Vipul, Chennai Blitz received another freebie. Unforced errors continued to frustrate the Spikers bench as the Blitz inched closer to winning. With a super point on offer, Naveen made a powerful serve to which the Spikers had no answer. As the Spikers made another faulty serve, Chennai Blitz won the final set 15-9 to win the match 3-2.
Kolkata Thunderbolts will be up against Hyderabad Black Hawks in the fifth match of the season on Wednesday.
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