Chennai goes down to U Mumba Volley

U Mumba registered its first victory in the Pro Volleyball League by overcoming Chennai Spartans 3-2 (15-14, 15-8, 15-10, 10-15, 10-15) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Saturday.
Chennai goes down to U Mumba Volley
Action during the Chennai Spartans-U Mumba Volley match in PVL


While skipper Dipesh Kumar Sinha top-scored for the victor with 11 points, overseas recruit Rudy Verhoeff (20) bagged the highest points for Spartans. The difference between the two sides was the contribution from the rest of its players. All members of U Mumba’s starting six notched up five or more points in the Chennai leg opener.

Spartans now has to win its final league assignment against Ahmedabad Defenders on Sunday to seal a semi-final spot. The host held a slender one-point advantage at 8-7 going into the first Technical Time Out (TTO). Attacker Rudy, who averaged 14 points in the first three league matches, was the major contributor, bagging four spike points before the breather.

Spartans, which led 14-10, was placed in a comfortable position to clinch the opening set. But, U Mumba astonishingly turned the tide in its favour by bagging five consecutive points at the fag end. The late surge helped it settle things at 15-14 and gave it a 1-0 lead.In the second set, the away side picked up from where it left off in the first. It raced to an 8-3 lead as Chennai started to crumble under pressure. The gap only widened after the TTO, with U Mumba once again saving its best for the last.At 7-10, there was some scope for the home team to make a comeback. But, the tourist ran away with the set as it racked up four successive points. Courtesy of the flourish, it was one point shy of holding a 2-0 cushion in the match.

The Mumbai-based franchise completed the formalities at 15-8, thanks to a spike from Vinit Kumar.Spartans found itself in a do-or-die situation in the third set, but remained the second best side. It faced a four-point deficit at 2-6 and nosed ahead only once in the entirety of the set. Similar to the first two sets, U Mumba switched gears in the closing stages, capturing crucial points. The visitor’s first win of the season was confirmed when it pocketed the third set 15-10.

After losing the opening three sets, Chennai had nothing but Set Difference (SD) and Points Difference (PD) to play for in the remainder of the encounter.

Despite lagging 3-7 behind in the fourth set, the host managed to pull it off 15-10. Both Super Points in the set went in Spartans’ favour and they were instrumental in it opening its account.Spartans won the fifth setwith an identical scoreline of 15-10, but left the arena disappointed because of the result.

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