Kochi, February 5th 2019: Day 4 of the RuPay Pro Volleyball League saw Calicut Heroes register their second win in a thrilling battle against U Mumba Volley (15-10, 12-15, 15-13, 14-15, 15-9). For Calicut it was yet again Ajith Lal C played the lead role with 16 points (15 spikes, 1 block) whereas for U Mumba Volley it was skipper Dipesh Kumar Sinha who stood out with 11 points (7 spikes, 3 blocks and 1 serve).
After winning the toss U Mumba Volley decided to serve and got two quick points. Calicut picked up the pace soon with two back-to-back spikes from Lal. At the Technical Time Out (TTO), Calicut led U Mumba by just one point at 8-7. At 11-8, Calicut called for a Super Point and a beautifully executed deception ending with a spike from Lal got them the bonus point. U Mumba made a two-point recovery to 10-14, owing to errors by Iluoni Ngampourou and Jerome Vinith, but a spike from Calicut skipper Vinith closed the set in their favour at 15-10.
Both the teams started cautiously in the second, countering each other’s moves and earning on a few unforced errors. At 4-4, Lal came up with a blistering spike to break the parity followed by a mistake by Nick Del Bianco as Calicut got a two-point lead. At 5-6, U Mumba called for a Super Point that they won with an inch perfect block by Saqlain Tariq to give his team a 7-6 lead. Riding on the new lease of energy they won six consecutive points stretching the lead to 12-6. Calicut tried to close the gap climbing up to 12-14 but U Mumba settled the matter with a Tomislav Coskovic spike at 15-12.
With a set apiece, the match became a battle of equals. At 6-6, U Mumba took the initiative two consecutive spikes Saqlain Tariq and Del Bianco heading into the TTO at 8-6. At 7-8, U Mumba called for a Super Point but a rock-solid block at the net by Karthik A won Calicut the point and lead at 9-8. U Mumba made a comeback with a spike and serve from Prince to take one-point lead at 10-9. As the tension built, Coskovic error put U Mumba behind. Calicut had a set point at 14-12 but U Mumba skipper Sinha got his team a point to make it 13-14 but Lal continued his red-hot form to give Calicut a 2-1 lead after three sets.
Leading 7-3 in 4th, Calicut committed handful of errors allowing U Mumba to crawl back in the set. To press advantage, Calicut called for a Super Point at 9-8, but U Mumba skipper Sinha came with an impressive block to take his team to 10-9. At 10-all U Mumba called for a Super Point and won it with a spike from Shubham that beat a three-men block which was followed by Coskovic’s spike to make it 13-10. Of the next five points, Calicut won four with U Mumba taking just one. At 14-14, Calicut needed one point to win the match while U Mumba needed one to stay alive and got it to take the match to decider.
The decider saw both the teams level at 6-6. Calicut called for a Super Point at 7-6 and converted with Vinith’s spike. Karthik then converted Super Serve to increase the lead to 11-6 for Calicut. The six-point lead was too steep for U Mumba as the set ended with a service error from Pankaj Sharma at 15-9 and the match 3-2 in favour of Calicut Heroes.
Kochi Blue Spikers will take on Ahmedabad Defenders on February 6th 2019. It will be broadcast Live and Exclusive on SONY SIX and SONY TEN 3 and will be streamed live on SONY LIV from 6:50 PM IST.
RuPay Player of the Match: Saqlain Tariq
Final Score: Calicut Heroes beat U Mumba Volley: 15-10, 12-15, 15-13, 14-15, 15-9
About the RuPay Pro Volleyball League
An initiative of Baseline Ventures India Pvt. Ltd and Volleyball Federation of India, RuPay Pro Volleyball League aims to transform the sporting landscape of the country by elevating the world’s fifth most popular sport to the league of the most followed sports in the coming times. Packaged in the brightest of colours, the first edition of the highly anticipated tournament is set to provide high octane Volleyball action to fans of the sport across the country in the month of February 2019.