Kerala made light work of Tamil Nadu with a 25-14, 25-11, 25-9 straight-set win in the women’s Group B match of the senior National volleyball championship on Monday at the Nehru indoor stadium here.
Tamil Nadu was insipid throughout. Its play was frantic for the most part with the players playing in disconcert, and thus undecided as to how to approach the ball, set it up, and strike. There were shabby plays aplenty to show for it.
In the first set, M. Sandhiya, unsure whether to spike or tap, applied a meek touch on the ball for it to hit the net. This, after she had jumped and had the facility for a full-blown spike. Kerala was 10-3 ahead at that stage.
Tamil Nadu struggled with its positioning, leaving court space uncovered, especially back-court. And Kerala exploited it. Sensing that Tamil Nadu’s D. Ratha, stationed at the back wasn’t in fine touch, Kerala’s P.P. Reshma and S. Rekha hit the ball at and around her repeatedly.
So much so, that Ratha was replaced by K.P. Anusree, who did marginally better. Indecision showed prominently when, at 6-15 down, the players gathered around the falling ball and let it ground with each expecting the other to take it.
Much effort was expended, and focus fine-tuned, on keeping the ball in play, that no better could be done to attack as it managed 11 points in the second set.
In the third, out of desperation to save itself from a straight-set defeat, it looked to muster a better attack. But it didn’t help that Kerala combined well in pairs to block at the net.
Tamil Nadu men had a good start versus Kerala, winning the first two sets 25-20, 25-21 — Naveen Raja Jacob, Shelton Moses, and K. Praveen Kumar played well at the net — but it went down in the last three sets 22-25, 16-25, and 18-20.
The results (day three):
Men: Group A: Rajasthan bt Uttar Pradesh 14-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-16, 15-8; Indian Railways bt Punjab 25-23, 25-13, 25-21; Group B: Kerala bt Tamil Nadu 20-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-16, 20-18; Services bt Andhra Pradesh 25-14, 22-25, 19-25, 25-21, 16-14.
Women: Group A: Maharashtra bt Andhra Pradesh 17-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-18; Indian Railways bt West Bengal 25-10, 25-13, 25-7; Group B: Telangana bt Punjab 25-12, 25-17, 25-20; Kerala bt Tamil Nadu 25-14, 25-11, 25-9
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