Day 7 of the RuPay Pro Volleyball League saw Kochi Blue Spikers register hat-trick of wins for the season defeating Black Hawks Hyderabad 3-2 (12-15, 15-11, 15-12, 15-10, 14-15) here on Friday. David Lee showed his class for Kochi as he scored 12 points (7 spikes and 5 blocks). Ashwal Rai was the leading scorer for Hyderabad as he overshadowed his illustrious teammate Carson Clark scoring 15 points (11 spikes and 4 blocks).
Rai put up an all-round performance and topped the list of players with the highest number of block points, i.e., 10 points from three matches.
The two teams were going toe-to-toe for each point in the first set. Hyderabad, with the help of four spike points by captain Clark, entered the first Technical Time Out (TTO) with a point lead at 8-7. They looked a rejuvenated unit when they called for a Super Point at 10-9 and converted the same owing to a fault by Lee at the net. For Hyderabad, Rai was in red hot form scoring five points in the set as Hyderabad wrapped up the set at 15-12.
Kochi found their groove in the second set as they raced to an 8-5 lead at the TTO. At 10-6, Kochi looked like running away with the set but Alex Bader had other ideas and with deaf touch at the net and a spike reduced the difference to two points. Rai again came to the party and helped Hyderabad take a one-point lead with a spike and a block. Immediately, Hyderabad called for a Super Point and Lee broke their serve to give Kochi the advantage. Kochi now opted for a Super Point and converted. At 14-11, Prabagaran S closed the set for Kochi to level the match at 1-1.
The third set wasn’t dominated by any team as much. At 7-7, a spike by Suresh Khoiwal gave Kochi the much-needed lead going into the TTO. Kochi took two quick points but Rai levelled it with a spike and block at 10-10. At 11-10, Super Point was called by Kochi and a rock-solid block by Lee ensured that they win the point. Kochi held their nerve and won the set 15-12 to lead 2-1 in the match.
Like the third set, the penultimate set didn’t lack action as both teams contested it fiercely till 10-8 when Kochi called for a Super Point and converted the same with a devastating spike by Manu Joseph shifting the match in favour of Kochi at 12-8. Kochi didn’t let the lead slip from their hands and closed the set 15-10 with a block from Prabagaran leading 3-1 in the match.
Hyderabad, though, had lost the match, was in no mood to give up. Rai, Guramritpal Singh, Amit Kumar and Bader took the initiative and helped their team win the set at the very last moment by a score of 15-14 with them accounting for 10 points out of 15. The match ended 3-2 in Kochi’s favour.
Kochi Blue Spikers will take on Calicut Heroes on February 9th 2019. It will be broadcast Live and Exclusive on SONY SIX and SONY TEN 3 and will be streamed live on SONY LIV from 6:50 PM IST.
RuPay player of the match: David Lee
Final Score: Kochi Blue Spikers beat Black Hawks Hyderabad – 12-15, 15-11, 15-12, 15-10, 14-15
Points Table after matchday 7: