Chennai Spartans thrashed Calicut Heroes 3-0 (15-11, 15-12, 16-14) to bag the Pro Volleyball League (PVL) 2019 title at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here on Friday.
Chennai took the early initiative and went into the first Technical Time Out (TTO) with an 8-5 lead, thanks to spike points from four members of its starting six. Heroes opted for a Super Point just as it was back on court after the interval. Spartans skipper Shelton Moses gifted it to his opponent with a service error, reducing the advantage to a single point.
Rudy effected a crucial block at 10-7, giving the host some momentum to wrap up the opener. At 14-11, the Canadian produced a spike to close out the set. Calicut was in unfamiliar territory as it had not lost the first set in any of its previous six matches (five round-robin and one semi-final).
Though Heroes captain Jerome Vinith committed three opposite errors at the beginning of the second set, the away side squared things up at six all. Spartans then snapped up two successive points to once again head into the TTO with an (8-6) advantage. At 8-10, Calicut called for a Super Point and successfully converted it to draw parity at 10 all. Next, it was Chennai’s turn to go for a Super Point. In a perform or perish moment, overseas star Rudy showed all his experience by unleashing a spike.
Like in the first set, the 29-year-old applied the finishing touches to the second, this time with a brilliant block. The tourist squandered the opening two sets and had to clinch the third to stay alive in the title decider. Chennai dominated the initial phase of the third set as well, coming out on top at the TTO, with a three-point cushion at 8-5. Calicut looked recharged after the break and pocketed six consecutive points to earn supremacy at 11-8. After a brief hiccup, Spartans was back to its best. A block and a spike from GS Akhin granted the home team a championship point. It didn’t pounce on the opportunity, but was second time lucky at 15-14.
Team Blue defeated Team Yellow 2-1 (15-5, 12-15, 15-6) in the Women’s All Star Exhibition match here on Friday.
Blue won the first and third sets in dominant fashion to bag the trophy. American Alexa Strange, who has been calling the shots in the Pro Volleyball League 2019, top-scored for the victor, with 13 points under her belt.
The 24-year-old universal single-handedly clinched the opening set for Blue, amassing 10 out of the 15 points. “I have been watching the action unfold on court for the last one month. I was itching to play this game. It was a cool experience,” said Alexa after the triumph.
In the opener, Blue held a three-point advantage at 8-5 going into the Technical Time Out (TTO). After the restart, Alexa picked up three serve points to give her side a 1-0 advantage. Yellow, which went down meekly in the first set, came back strongly in the second.
It had a tiny one-point cushion at 8-7 and pocketed the set 15-12, taking the match to the decider. The final set was a repeat of the first as Blue ran away with the contest. After racing to an 8-2 lead, it brought the encounter to a close by taking the set 15-6.