Thanks for tuning in to Sportstar's  LIVE coverage of the Prime Volleyball League 2022 finals between Ahmedabad Defenders and Kolkata Thunderbolts. This was  Netra. V  taking you through the action as it unfurled. That's all for today.

Match Report: PVL 2022: Kolkata Thunderbolts beats Ahmedabad Defenders to win Prime Volleyball League

RECAP: Rahul - Vinit  combo won Kolkata Thunderbolts its maiden Prime Volleyball League against Ahmedabad Defenders 3-0. The Defenders were the 'to-beat team' as they topped the table with only one loss, however, Kolkata proved to be the better defenders as it blocked and attacked its way through and proved its point in straight sets.

 

13-15, 10-15, 12-15 KOLKATA WIN!!!! Ashwal Rai's team wins its maiden Prime Volleyball League. 

13-15, 10-15, 11-13  SUPER POINT BY AHMEDABAD. THEY WIN IT

13-15, 10-15, 9-12 Vinit spikes but it slightly touches the blockers hand and goes out as the Kolkata earn another point.

13-15, 10-15, 9-11 Rodrigo finally gets a point as the brilliant rally between the two teams come to an end.

13-15, 10-15, 8-10 Manoj hits it near Rahul but the Thunderbolts are unable to retaliate.

13-15, 10-15, 7-10 Shon T makes a faulty service.

13-15, 10-15, 7-9 Ahmedabad gets two consecutive points.

13-15, 10-15, 5-9 Kolkata captain Ashwal Rai spikes it and earns his team another point.

13-15, 10-15, 5-8 Vinit aims at the Ahmedabad libero as Prabhakaran fails to receive it. Kolkata leads at technical time-out.

13-15, 10-15, 5-6 Ashwal ready for Shon T John as the ball is blocked and Ahmedabad trails behind.

13-15, 10-15, 5-5 Angamuthu also makes a service error.

13-15, 10-15, 4-4 Matthew faults in service.

13-15, 10-15, 3-4 Vinit on fire as the ball touches Manoj's hand and goes out.

13-15, 10-15, 2-3 Rahul spikes, it touches Angamuthu's right hand and goes out.

13-15, 10-15, 2-2 Rodrigo makes a mistake. Seems like its not Rodrigo's day.

13-15, 10-15, 2-0 Another point Saju Prakash, who was substituted for the third set.

13-15, 10-15, 1-0 Saju Prakash's super block helps Ahmedabad score the first point in the third set.

SECOND SET

13-15, 10-15 Vinit blocks, Ahmedabad spikes but the ball goes outside. SUPER POINT FOR KOLKATA. THUNDERBOLTS WINS SECOND SET AS WELL!

13-15, 10-13 CRED SUPER POINT CALLED BY AHMEDABAD

13-15, 10-12 Vinit's spike touches antenna, point Ahmedabad.

13-15, 8-12 Vinit's contactless straight shot proves to be fatal for Ahmedabad as they are unable to receive it.

13-15, 8-11 Ace Angamuthu sees Ahmedabad catch up a bit.

13-15, 6-11 Rahul spikes, Ahmedabad unable to retaliate with the down the angle shot.

13-15, 6-9 Blocking error for Kolkata. Ahmedabad gets one point, but Thunderbolts still in the lead.

13-15, 5-9 VAR by KOLKATA. REVIEW SUCCESSFUL. AS THE BALL IS IN AND RAHUL GETS A POINT. SUPER SERVE FOR RAHUL. TWO POINTS FOR THE THUNDERBOLTS AS TECHNICAL TIME-OUT IS CALLED.

13-15, 5-6 Aravindhan and Ashwal combine to trouble Ahmedabad as the captain scores yet another point.

13-15, 4-5 Ashwal  hits the ball right in between the empty space as Shon T John is unable to receive it.

13-15, 4-2 Shon T John spikes, hits Vinits hand and the ball bounces outside.

13-15, 2-1 Manoj attacks quickly as Shon T assists in Ahmedabad winning another point.

13-15, 1-0 Angamuthu hits, Rahul is off balance and misses.

SET ONE

13-15 SUPER SERVE BY RAHUL. KOLKATA WINS THE FIRST SET!

13-13 SUPER POINT ASKED BY AHMEDABAD. SHON T JOHN EXPLOITS GAP BETWEEN KOLKATA BLOCKERS AND THE ANTENNA.

11-12 Rahul jumps up to spike the ball, but its obvious that the ball is going out.

9-11 Angamuthu spikes but Kolkata triple blocks by Vinit, Rahul and August as Ahmedabad lose another point.

9-10 Shon T John spikes, it lands inside as the Kolkata libero commits a mistake.

8-10 Vinit Kumar ups the ante when needed and plays a drop shot deceiving the Ahmedabad Defenders.

7-9 Rodrigo serves, but it goes outside. Service error.

7-8 Ahmedabad Defenders making mistakes , a bit unusual for the side that lost just one match in the league stages. Technical time-out.

6-7 Captain Ashwal Rai touches the net, a misunderstanding. But he makes it up by spiking it at Rodrigo as the Ahmedabad Defender is unable to dig and Kolkata gets a point.

4-6 Angamuthu makes contact with the net while blocking, resulting in Kolkata grabbing an easy point.

4-5 Three consecutive service errors from both the teams causing a change of scores.

2-3 Vinit Kumar is unstoppable as the two blockers from Ahmedabad are unable to stop the ball.

REVIEW BY AHMEDABAD. REVIEW SUCCESSFUL 2-0.

1-0 Matthew August spikes, but the ball lands outside. Pressure seems to take the best of the Kolkata team.

AND THE FINALS BEGINS...

AND THE NATIONAL ANTHEM IS PLAYED.

Here are some statistics from the PVL 2022. Let's see if they remain the same after the finals!

MVP LEADERBOARD-

1. SHON T JOHN 46

2. VINIT KUMAR 38

3. JEROME VINITH 38

4. ANGAMUTHU 32

5. S V GURU PRASANTH 28

SPIKER LEADERBOARD-

1. ANGAMUTHU 78

2. JEROME VINITH 77

3. PANKAJ SHARMA 75

4. SHON T JOHN 72

5. VINIT KUMAR

BLOCKERS LEADERBOARD-

1. JOHN JOSEPH 17

2. AKHIN GS 14

3. KARTHIK A 13

4. MANOJ M 13

5. ROHITH P 11

 

TEAM LINEUP- Ryan Meehan in for Ahmedabad Defenders, while Ian Satterfield in for Kolkata Thunderbolts!

 

TOSS UPDATE- Ahmedabad Defenders win the toss and choose to serve.

 

PREVIEW-

Kolkata Thunderbolts will take on  Ahmedabad Defenders  in the final of the inaugural Rupay  Prime Volleyball League  at the GMC Balayogi Stadium (Gachibowli) on Sunday.

Speaking on the eve of the final, Defenders captain Muthuswamy said his team had been showing excellent coordination right through and hoped it would continue to do so in the big final.

“Yes, there have been some mistakes in defence. We are working out on this area before the final,” he said.

On combining so well with the brilliant spiker Shon T. John, A. Muthuswamy said he was glad there had been such coordination and hoped it would continue for one more day to clinch the trophy too.

Defenders coach S. Dakshinamoorthy said the exciting format of the League itself gave a new dimension to the sport itself.  “We were rated as underdogs before the League, but our players gave their best, exhibited great volleyball to reach the final. It shows the depth and quality of the team,” he said.

“Yes getting one day of extra preparations (after the semifinal) should be a plus for our preparations,” the coach said.

For his part, Angamuthu, Defenders’ star attacker, said the players never expected to play in this kind of a League. “The kind of exposure, the quality of training and the bonding amongst players is just amazing. Earlier we used to feel jealous about other sports having these kinds of Leagues. Now, we have no regrets,” he said.

Thunderbolts captain Ashwal Rai said they earned a lot of respect after beating a big team like Calicut Heroes in the semifinal.

“We proved that we come good against the best. And, I feel the best is yet to come,” he said. “We want to carry the positives of the semifinal win into the final and don’t repeat the few mistakes we committed earlier,” he added.

“In our team, the bonding is so good and the confidence is high. We are very well balanced and it is one last and most important match (final). Hopefully, we should win the trophy too,” Ashwal said.

- V.V. Subrahmanyam