Karthik A, the captain of Mumbai Meteors, is all set to face his former team Kochi Blue Spikers, in a must-win match in the second edition of Prime Volleyball League, taking place at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium, Kochi, on March 1.
“It is a do-or-die match (against Kochi), so we have to play and win this match to stay alive,” Karthik tells Sportstar.
With five points in hand, Mumbai must win 5-0 against the home team to stand a chance for the semifinals. However, Karthik and his team will have to wait for the results of the Bengaluru Torpedoes and Calicut Heroes match, which will take place on February 28.
“If Bengaluru wins this match, there might be a change in rankings, so we would be watching the match,” adds the 28-year-old.
The middle blocker from Karnataka is confident that his team will be able to make it to the semis with a clean 5-0 sweep and gaining three points. “Now, our main goal is to win tomorrow’s match and qualify for the semifinals. We are okay with facing any team (in the semis).”
On the other hand, Kochi has failed to make it to the semifinals after a sole victory over Calicut Heroes 3-2 out of the six matches it has played and hopes to end the league on a winning note.
After losing out on an extremely close encounter against the Ahmedabad Defenders 3-2, Erin Varghese, who is among Kochi’s top scorers in the home leg, states that mistakes in crucial situations cost the game.
“In the previous match, we made mistakes during the service, especially when a super point was at stake. In addition, we committed errors at the wrong times,” says the 24-year-old outside hitter.
He admits that the team’s failure to adjust in the Bengaluru leg and the pressure of winning got the better of the players, resulting in ranking second last in the points table.
“Our team found it hard to adjust in the Bengaluru leg, we did perform better in Hyderabad, but we could not win, it was just bad luck. We started showing our potential in the Kochi leg and won against Calicut Heroes.”
While Erin thanks the fans for their support, he assures them that the team will not take its last match lightly and will want to end the season on a good note.
“Even though we are no longer in the semifinal race since it’s our last match, we want to give it our all,” he concludes.