Ahmedabad Defenders defeated Calicut Heroes 17-15, 9-15, 17-15, 15-11 at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium here on Saturday and will face Bengaluru Torpedoes in the Prime Volleyball League season two summit clash .
Mohan Ukkra Pandian and Jerome Vinith’s lethal combination, provided the Heroes a quick start. Ahmedabad’s Santhosh S, who had a previous service error, got lucky as the ball touched the Heroes court after hitting the net. Defenders captain Muthusamy Appavu’s one-handed drop near Mohan caught Heroes by surprise, and eked out another point for the Defenders.
Ahmedabad’s Danial Moatazedi came to form on time and gave a point lead, however, M Ashwin Raj levelled. Danial did not remove his eyes off the ball and asked for a crucial review in addition to helping his team win the first set with a fierce spike.
Calicut managed to come back in the second set. A Jerome super serve ensured Calicut got an early lead, followed by Heroes captain Jose Antonio Sandoval’s accurate one-man block. Calicut’s Prabakaran blocked Angamuthu’s spike with his face, but the Heroes failed to consolidate. Calicut’s head coach Kishor Kumar’s timely review was yet another hit for the Defenders. A triple block for Muthusamy was all that Calicut needed to grab the set.
The third set was neck-to-neck. Falah, who smashed the ball at Muthusamy, served one out that cost a review for the Heroes. Danial, who was quiet in the second set, slammed down two consecutive blows for the Heroes. Sandoval, Falah and Mohan ensured Chembada had something to cheer for before losing the super point. The set went down to the wire after consecutive errors from both teams, but Ahmedabad finally got the upper hand at 17-15.
Calicut needed to win this set to stay in the game, and it stayed in the hunt for the first eleven points. The Defenders, however, took charge from thereon. The Heroes attempted to bridge the gap but failed to do so as Danial handed the Defenders their second final.
Ahmedabad will face Bengaluru Torpedoes in the final.
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