The first edition of the RuPay Pro Volleyball League witnessed twenty days of thrilling volleyball action in Kochi and Chennai with the crowds in the two South Indian states embracing the sport with open arms.
There was a host of Indian talent on display throughout the course of the RuPay Pro Volleyball League 2019 in all the positions - attacker, blocker, universal, setter and libero.
The Indian players got an opportunity to rub shoulders with overseas seasoned professionals like David Lee, Paul Lotman, Tomislav Coskovic, Carson Clark, and Rudy Verhoeff.
Every franchise of the RuPay Pro Volleyball League 2019 saw a couple of Indian players grab the spotlight with their performances. Here, we take a look at three of the best young players from the six franchises who caught our eye throughout the league.
#3 Amit Kumar - Black Hawks Hyderabad
Having participated in the 2018 Asian Games as a part of the Indian national volleyball team, Amit Kumar is not an unknown face in the world of volleyball. The 20-year old was a part of Black Hawks Hyderabad in the RuPay Pro Volleyball League 2019.
The Hyderabad based team started off the league with a win, with Amit playing an important role right from the start. Along with skipper Carson Clark and Alex Bader, Amit proved to be crucial for winning the match.
The attacker went on to score 17 points from five matches, 14 of which came from spikes. He had also managed to pick points from a super serve, an achievement which only a few managed to do. In the tournament which saw all the experienced players taking the level of volleyball to another height, this lanky player did not leave a chance to make his mark.
#2 Prince - U Mumba Volley
U Mumba Volley had one of the most promising youngsters in their ranks in the form of blocker, Prince. Nineteen-year-old Prince, who began playing the game in 2012 emerged as a key player for the Mumbai side in their run to the semi-finals of the Pro Volleyball League.
U Mumba had a dry run of matches as they struggled to get wins on the board in their initial four matches. They looked solid all-around, especially on the defensive side but struggled to get the wins. Prince, along with his skipper, Deepesh Kumar Sinha and vice-captain, Vinit Kumar, was amongst the top block points scoring player in the side.
At the end of their run, Prince finished with a total of 11 block points in the six matches that he featured for the U Mumba side. He also scored 17 spike points for the team. Prince slowly rose up the ranks and made a starting position his own after impressing off the bench. He is a young player who has shown a good level of play already and will be one to watch out for in the future.
#1 Ashwal Rai - Black Hawks Hyderabad
Ashwal Rai, the youngster hailing from the state of Karnataka was touted to come good for the Black Hawks Hyderabad franchise and was handed the vice-captain’s role, playing deputy to the American international, Carson Clark. Ashwal had led the Karnataka side to the Nationals title win in the 67th Senior National Volleyball Championship.
Rai proved faithful to the hopes of the franchise’s management, finishing as the top scorer for the side with a haul of 57 points in five league matches. He played as the middle blocker for the Black Hawks and quickly emerged as one of the best blockers in the league. He finished the league as the second highest block points scorer (15 points in 5 matches) behind Kochi's David Lee (16 points in 6 matches).