Calicut Heroes pipped the debutants Mumbai Meteors 4-1 on Sunday in their first game of the second season of Prime Volleyball League.
Much to the delight of a jam-packed crowd at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru, the Calicut Heroes came back to pick up a thrilling 10-15, 15-9, 15-8, 15-14, 15-11 win over the Mumbai team to get two points from the contest.
Mumbai Meteors began its journey into the league with two quick points as Hiroshi Centelles put on consecutive perfect blocks to give his team an early lead. Jose Antonio Sandoval, who was awarded the ‘Player of the Match’, with a deft touch over the net, put the ball in no man’s land on the opposition’s end as Calicut Heroes earned their first point of the game. Shameemudheen’s spike led to Mumbai extending their lead to 10-6 in the first set. Meteors maintained its composure and won the first set 15-10.
Mumbai Meteors kept control of the momentum in the second set as well picking up the first point, however Calicut’s Sandoval tapped the ball over the net to get things back on level pegging. With a super point on offer, Meteors’ Hiroshi made an error allowing Heroes to further extend their lead. A block from M Ashwin Raj took Calicut with a touching distance of win in the second set. As Hiroshi’s serve struck the nets, Calicut Heroes won the second set 15-9.
Having found their rhythm, Calicut Heroes took an early lead in the third set, as Asham A put his team ahead with a solid block. Sandoval struck a powerful spike to further keep the Kerala side ahead in the set. Just when it looked like Heroes will take a comfortable lead, Brandon’s spike earned Mumbai a crucial point in the set. Sandoval’s block with super point on offer, won Calicut its third set 15-8 to take lead in the match.
Sandoval’s supreme form continued as he trapped the opposition with gorgeous blocks in the penultimate set. A deft touch from Ashwin brought Calicut Heroes to the match point, and Mohan Ukkrapandian put on a block to win the game for his team.
In the final set, a deflated Mumbai Meteors made consecutive errors to allow Calicut to take the lead. Winning the super point, the Mumbai side reduced the gap, after which skipper Karthik put on a fantastic block to get another point for his side. Nevertheless, Calicut kept its composure and closed the set at 15-11, winning the match 4-1.
Ahmedabad Defenders will be up against Hyderabad Black Hawks at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium in the second match of the Prime Volleyball League in Bengaluru at 7 PM IST on Monday, 06 February 2023.
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