The Kochi Blue Spikers played out a thrilling 3-2 victory over Black Hawks Hyderabad in the Pro Volleyball League at the Rajiv Gandhi indoor stadium on Friday.
For Hyderabad, Ashwal Rai became the leading scorer by overshadowing his successful teammate Carson Clark scoring 15 points (11 spikes and 4 blocks).
Rai gave a spectacular performance and topped the list of players with the highest number of block points, 10, from three matches.
The first set began with a neck to neck competition between the teams. With the help of four spike points, Hyderabad entered the first Technical Time Out (TTO) with a point lead at 8-7. They looked a revived unit when they called for a Super Point at 10-9 and converted the same owing to a fault by Lee at the net.
For Hyderabad, Rai grabbed everyone’s attention by scoring five points in the set as Hyderabad wrapped up the set at 15-12.
In the second set, Kochi took lead by scoring 8-5 at the TTO. At 10-6, Kochi looked like running away from the set but Alex Bader changed the game by deaf touching at the net and a spike which reduced the difference to two points. With a spike and a block, Rai again showed his sportsmanship and helped Hyderabad take a one-point lead.
Immediately, Hyderabad called for a Super Point and Lee broke their serve to give Kochi the advantage. Kochi now opted for a Super Point and converted. At 14-11, Prabagaran S closed the set for Kochi to level the match at 1-1.
The third set did not saw any specific team’s domination. At 7-7, a spike by Suresh Khoiwal gave Kochi the much-needed lead going into the TTO. Kochi took two quick points but Rai leveled it with a spike and block at 10-10. At 11-10, Kochi called for a Super Point and a solid block by Lee ensured that they win the point. Kochi held their nerve and won the set 15-12 to lead 2-1 in the match.
The penultimate set didn’t lack competitive spirit as both teams contested it fiercely till 10-8. Then Kochi called for a Super Point and converted the same with a shocking spike by Manu Joseph shifting the match in favour of Kochi at 12-8. Kochi didn’t let the lead slip from their hands and closed the set 15-10 with a block from Prabagaran leading 3-1 in the match.
Though Hyderabad had lost the match but were not ready to give up. Rai, Guramrit Pal Singh, Amit Kumar, and Bader helped their team win the set at the very last moment by a score of 15-14 with them accounting for 10 points out of 15.
The match ended 3-2 in Kochi’s favour. Kochi Blue Spikers will take on Calicut Heroes on February 9th, 2019. It will broadcast Live and Exclusive on SONY SIX and SONY TEN 3 and will be streamed live on SONY LIV from 6:50 PM IST.
The @blackhawkshyd started off brilliantly but couldn't keep up to the constant pressure forced by the @KBS_VC. They'll look to bounce back from the loss when they play against @CalicutHeroes on 10th February. #RuPayPVL #ThrillKaCall pic.twitter.com/BTMEj55Nbc
— Pro Volleyball (@ProVolleyballIN) February 9, 2019
RuPay player of the match: David Lee
Kochi Blue Spikers 12-15 Black Hawks Hyderabad