Jerome magic helps Spartans notch up place in last 8

India’s Chennai Spartans cruised to the final eight of the Asian Men’s Volleyball Championship after defeating Qatar’s Al-Rayyan Club in its last Pool C encounter at the University of Taipei (Tianmu) Gymnasium on Saturday.
Jerome magic helps Spartans notch up place in last 8
Chennai Spartans players celebrate after scoring a point

Chennai

The victory was orchestrated by Jerome Vineeth and Ashwal Rai who scored 19 and 15 points respectively. The win wouldn’t have proved enough for the Chennai team which also needed the result of the match between Kazakhstan’s TNK Kazchrome and Est Cola to go its way. A win for the Thai club ensured India’s place in the next round.

It was Spartans’ second win on the trot after defeating Thailand’s Est Cola on Friday. With two wins out of its three fixtures, it emerged the second team in Pool C. Al-Rayyan which had the services of Luxembourg’s Kamil Rychlicki and Youssef Oughlaf, proved too hot to handle earlier on as it raced to a 25-22 win in the first set.

The second set was dominated by the Indian Latvian duo of Jerome Vineeth and Ruslans Sorokins who were ably supported by Mohan Ukkrapandian’s serving and setting. The result was a resounding 25-20 win in the second set.

With Jerome coming into his own, the Spartans didn’t look back after that and looked even more ruthless in its 25-19 demolition of the Qatar based club in the third round.

Brazilian Marcus Costa and Youssef took full advantage of the lapse in Chennai’s concentration in Set 4 to mount a strong comeback with a 25-14 win and took the match to the final set.

The tie-breaker saw some intense action and both teams gave each other a tough chase. After Al-Rayyan brought the deficit to 1 point at 13-14, Akhin landed the final punch by smartly producing a mid-court drop for the Indians’ 15-12 win in the deciding set and match.

Despite its loss, Al-Rayyan topped the group with 7 points and will be seen in action in the next round along with Chennai Spartans which ended the pool stage with 4 points from its 3 matches.

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