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PVL 2023: Kolkata Thunderbolts finish as table toppers; set up semi-final against Bengaluru Torpedoes

Ahmedabad Defenders will face Calicut Heroes in the other semi-final of the Prime Volleyball League 2023.

PVL 2023: Kolkata Thunderbolts finish as table toppers; set up semi-final against Bengaluru Torpedoes

Kolkata Thunderbolts


The Bridge Desk

Published: 2 March 2023 6:23 PM GMT

Kolkata Thunderbolts defeated Ahmedabad Defenders in the final league stage match of the Prime Volleyball League 2023 to finish their campaign as table toppers. The Thunderbolts secured the win after clinching the first three sets.

However, the Defenders did win the last two sets as consolation. It was too little too late from Ahmedabad but they certainly showed what they are capable of.

The first set started as a closely-contested affair but a couple of Super Serves courtesy Thunderbolts skipper Ashwal Rai and Vinit Kumar, the momentum swung towards the defending champions who won it 15-7.

Kolkata maintained their vein of form in the second set as well, making sure to block Ahmedabad's spikes as well as land their own. The side did well to capitalise on the Super Point called by the Defenders and eventually doubled their lead in the match by winning 15-4.

The third set tighter than the first two as Ahmedabad were trying to keep themselves in the game. However, they made a similar mistake by not capitalising on their own Super Point, which saw Kolkata wrap the match with a 15-13 win in the third set.

It was from the fourth set that Kolkata started to lose focus. Ahmedabad started the set tremendously after winning the first five points. Eventually, the Defenders won the set 15-8.

"Our motive was to get to the top of the table so that we can play tomorrow's semi-final. Our reception was weak in the final two sets. For now, we are focussed on the final," said Kolkata's Abhilash Chaudhary told The Bridge after the win.

When quizzed about what changes the team will incorporate ahead of the semi-final, the player said, "No changes needed. We will play the same way we have been playing, even tomorrow and focus however much we know about the opponent."

"We keep calm when our original strategy doesn't work out. The coaches get the bench players on to give the main players some time to think and plan accordingly," Chaudhary added.

Ahmedabad went on to win the final set as well with a score line of 15-11. However, the loss isn't what the side had hoped for, according to skipper Muthusamy Appavu.

"We feel Calicut heroes are a tougher opponent than Bengaluru so we wanted to win today, but that didn't happen. I want to improve my own defense and blocking, and hopefully we'll do good in the semi-finals," the player said.

In the semi-finals, Kolkata Thunderbolts will play Bengaluru Torpedoes while Ahmedabad Defenders will face Calicut Heroes.

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