The inaugural season of the Pro Volleyball League has been one of high action. The competition, which started 20 days back on 22nd February, has proved to be an unexpected hit among the sports fans. In fact, the first season of PVL managed to attract as many as 14.3 million viewership, according to the organizers. The competition started with six teams in fray, of which two- Chennai Spartans and Calicut Heroes – have emerged at the top.
As the two teams prepare to win for one last time now, we do a Pro Volleyball Final preview.
— Pro Volleyball (@ProVolleyballIN) January 28, 2019
Pro Volleyball League Teams: Road to Finals
The first season of PVL has been a fairly comfortable ride for Calicut Heroes. The team from the east won all the five matches they have played in, giving them an unassailable lead of 11 points at the top.
What is striking is their point difference in those five 5 matches – 70. The figure is staggering considering that Calicut and Kochi Blue Spikers (2) are the only two teams to have a positive point points difference.
In the PVL semifinals against U Mumba Volley, Heroes were in top form, defeating their opponent by 3-0.
Captain Jerome Vinith led the scoring charts with 12 points (10 spikes and 2 serves).
Chennai, on the other hand, has not had the best of the starts to the campaign. They won a single game from the first three – a 4-1 victory over Hyderabad- thus, diminishing their chances of making it to last four.
However, the South Indian left it late, springing up in action in the last group match of the season. In the match against Ahmedabad Defenders, Spartans won the first three sets to somehow clinch the last semi-final spot.
In the semi-final match against Kochi Blue Spikers, they had another tough game in the offing. Having lost two of the first three sets, Chennai were in huge risk of being knocked out of the league. However, they won the all-important fourth set before sealing the fifth set and thus a place in the finals.
Head to Head Record
Calicut Heroes and Chennai Spartans last met each other in the second match of Pro Volleyball League 2019 at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium. However, the match was a one-sided affair.
Calicut easily won the first two sets 15-8, 15-8 to gain momentum. Although they lost the third set 13-15, the Yellows saw off the remainder of the match with 15-11, 15-11. This will be the two team’s second meeting.
Standout Pro Volleyball League Players
What has worked for the table toppers is their all-round performance. In the spiking departments, India’s Ajith Lal (65 spiking points) and Jerome Vinith (66) have impressed. Calicut also leads the table in the points from serves (46 points), with Karthik A (16 points) and Jerome Vinith (12 points) topping here as well.
The one player that has stood for the Spartans has to be the 29-year-old spiker Rudy Verhoeff. The Canadian has accrued a league-high of 77 points from 6 matches, 11 more than his next competitor (Jerome Vinith with 66 points). He has also been effective in blocking, scoring 7 block points.
Naveen Raja Jacob has been impressive in serves. The Indian has scored as many as 15 serve points, second-highest in the league.
7 pm (IST), Friday, 22nd February.
The final of the Pro Volleyball League will be played at the Nehru Indoor Stadium, Chennai
The Pro Volleyball League final will be broadcasted live on SONY SIX/ SONY TEN 3.
The Pro Volleyball League final will be streamed live on SONY LIV.
It all boils down to this after 20 days of exciting action! The @CalicutHeroes have not lost even once in #RuPayPVL and the @chennaispartans are in song in front of the local crowd. Tickets are selling fast for the final showdown. Hurry up and book yours!#ThrillKaCall pic.twitter.com/5mRlLG6JLB
— Pro Volleyball (@ProVolleyballIN) February 21, 2019