Host Hyderabad Black Hawks scored a convincing, 15-12, 15-11, 15-11, 15-10, 13-15 win over Kochi Blue Spikers in the inaugural match of the Prime Volleyball League at the GMC Balayogi Indoor Stadium (Gachibowli) on Saturday.
The contest, in front of empty stands as spectators were not allowed in view of the pandemic, began on an even note with the teams levelling the scores quite a few times. However, Hyderabad surged ahead shortly after thanks to attacker Rohit Kumar, who came up with some telling smashes.
Importantly, the home team won the super point at 12-10 thanks to Rohit’s powerful smash from the corner and not surprisingly won the first set at 15-12 even as Kochi seemed to bank too much on the captain A. Karthik’s brilliance and experience.
The second set was no different with scores levelled at the start before Hyderabad went ahead after 9-all after it was rattled a bit by rival skipper Karthik’s efficacy.
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Again, it was a super point at 12-10 which helped Hyderabad to take a 14-10 lead and then a splendid double block saw it clinch a point and the set too.
Things didn’t change even in the third set with Rohit being the star performer thanks to the solid defence at the net. His spiking at most critical points pushed Kochi onto the backfoot.
Hyderabad clinched the third set too thanks to another super point and
a super serve. Rohit, player of the match, finished off in style, to settle the issue even as Kochi later had the satisfaction of winning only the last set.
Earlier, doubles Olympic medallist and ace shuttler P.V. Sindhu inducted ex-internationals Arjuna Awardee P.V. Ramana and Arjuna and Dronacharya awardee Shyam Sunder Rao into the PVL’s ‘Hall of Fame’.