Telangana claws its way back to beat Delhi

Trailing by a point in the opening quarter, Telangana turned the tables on Delhi 49-32 in their women’s pool B match of the senior Federation Cup volleyball championships at the Chittoor District Sports Authority stadium courts on Thursday.

Telangana’s pivot turned forward V. Rachana in action during Telangana’s women’s group B match against Delhi.   -  A. Joseph Antony

Trailing by a point in the opening quarter, Telangana turned the tables on Delhi 49-32 in their women’s pool B match of the senior Federation Cup volleyball championships at the Chittoor District Sports Authority stadium courts on Thursday.

Even if Delhi played its virtual second string, comprising school and college girls, Telangana raised its game substantially to meet their fancied rival’s challenge. At the close of the first quarter, the southern side was down 10-11.

In the second session, Telangana began to mark Delhi’s Manali Vora, a specialist in 45 angle and outside shooting from half court itself, which contained the latter’s scoring considerably. Around their own backboard, Telangana adopted zone defence that literally boxed out the northern squad’s forays. So much so that Delhi could supplement its first quarter tally by just a solitary point !

At half-time, Telangana had not only restricted its opponent but surged ahead to a sizeable lead at 25-12. Forward Mrunalini Reddy doubled up as winger, finding the hoop even from zero angle attempts. V. Rachana who switches roles from pivot to forward, kept the scoreboard ticking with drive-in baskets and three-pointers.

Telangana kept things tight even in the third, letting Delhi add just another point as the former led 32-13. Telangana coach Arabind Manelou, understandably elated by the display of his wards, said, “The team has improved with each game.” “The girls have peaked in this, their third game,” chimed in his deputy Salver Ashwin Kumar.

In the same group, Tamil Nadu thrashed Chhattisgarh 73-37 after leading 35-15 at half-time in the morning session. For the winner, Vandana Arya was best with long range shooting. The marauding forward sank four three-pointers from the seven she fired. Not to be left behind M. Nishanthi was on target, three out of five times from outside the semi-circle.

A steady downpour disrupted the evening matches.

The results: Women: Group A: Kerala 66 bt Andhra Pradesh 34 (Padmavathi 13, P.S. Jyothi 12); Tamil Nadu 73 (Vandana Arya 17, Nishanthi 11) bt Chhattisgarh 37. B: Telangana 49 (Mrunalini 14, V. Rachana 11) bt Delhi 32 (Aparna Singh 19).