RuPay Pro Volleyball League 2019, Match 9: Calicut Heroes clinch a 3-2 win over Hyderabad Black Hawks

The Calicut Heroes clinched yet another impressive win
The Calicut Heroes clinched yet another impressive win
Prasen Moudgal

Table-toppers, Calicut Heroes maintained their unbeaten run in this season as they registered a 3-2 win against the Black Hawks Hyderabad in the ninth match of the RuPay Pro Volleyball League 2019 at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Kochi, Kerala.

Ajith Lal C stole the spotlight yet again with 19 points to his credit, while Heroes' skipper Jerome Vinith finished with 12 points. For the Black Hawks, Ashwal Rai top-scored with nine points but in vain as the Calicut Heroes registered a 15-11, 15-11, 15-7, 12-15, 11-15 win.

The competitiveness was on display right from the first set as the two teams fought hard for each point and hardly let each other pull away as the score read 5-5. An Ajith Lal Super Serve drove home the advantage for the Heroes before the Black Hawks picked up five points in a row to take an important 9-8 lead.

The two teams then drew level yet again at 10-10 before Ajith Lal was in the thick of the action again as his spike on the Super Point gave the Heroes a two-point lead. Just as the Black Hawks seemed to be stitching together a comeback, Paul Lotman's spike and a finishing touch from Ajith Lal C gave the Heroes a 15-11 win in the opening set.

The subsequent set witnessed the Heroes racing away to a 6-3 lead through Paul Lotman's brilliance only for the lead to be quashed as the Black Hawks' defenders rose to the occasion and helped their team draw level at 6-6. However, a barrage of spikes from the Heroes deflated the Black Hawks as the former took a 10-7 lead going into the break.

Jerome Vinith's powerful spike on the Super Point was matched by Ashwal Rai's effort as the Calicut Heroes held the lead at 12-10 after which Paul Lotman's power-packed spikes sealed the set for the Heroes by a 15-11 margin.

Faced with a risk of losing the match, the Black Hawks did well to cut out any chances of the Heroes running away with the lead as they matched shot for shot and managed to hold on to a deficit of one-point.

Two continuous errors from Ajith Lal drifted the momentum in favor of the Black Hawks as they rallied back to cut the deficit with the scoreline reading 7-7. The joy, however, was only short-lived as the Heroes grabbed three points in succession to lead 10-7 before a Super Serve from Naveen Kumar and a pin-point spike from Ajith Lal on the Super Point capped a 15-7 win for the Heroes and with that, an assured victory in the match.

Heroes skipper Jerome Vinith brought out his dazzling style of play at the beginning of the first set as he notched up three points that gave the Heroes a 5-0 lead. The momentum stuck firmly with the Heroes for a vast majority of the set as they pushed away to an 8-1 lead before the Black Hawks picked up four points to bring the score to 9-5.

A sudden resurgence from the Black Hawks, courtesy of a Rohit Kumar Super Serve and both the Super Points going their way equalized the score at 11-11 after which a couple of errors from Iluoni Ngampuorou saw the Carson Clark-led side take a 13-11 lead which they held on to and won their first set of the game by a 15-12 margin.

Heroes' Naveen Kumar started the final set in grand fashion as his Super Serve gave his side a 2-0 lead until a host of errors from Kumar granted the Black Hawks easy points as they took a 4-3 lead. The errors continued to flow from the Heroes' unit as the Black Hawks darted to a 6-4 lead before Rohit Kumar's pacy serves piled the pressure on the Heroes.

Having sealed the match prior to the final set, the Heroes seemed off-colour as the Black Hawks continued to notch up points in heaps and blazed away to a 13-10 lead. With a firm lead, the Black Hawks used the momentum to good effect as a Super Point gave them a 15-11 win in the final set.

Impact Player - Ajith Lal C (Calicut Heroes)

Ajith Lal C was at his best as he notched up 19 points
Ajith Lal C was at his best as he notched up 19 points

The Calicut Heroes' in-form player this season struck yet again with 19 points on the night as his 15 spike points came through some power-packed smashes. He also picked up four points through some pacy serves to single-handedly pile the pressure on the Hyderabad Black Hawks throughout the contest.

The Calicut Heroes will next face off against the Ahmedabad Defenders on the 13th of February while the Black Hawks Hyderabad will be hoping to get their campaign back on track when they face off against the U Mumba Volley team, day after tomorrow.

Edited by Rishikesh


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