Kolkata Thunderbolts finished on top of the table with a 15-7, 15-4, 15-13, 8-15, and 11-15 win over the Ahmedabad Defenders in the second season of the Prime Volleyball League at the Regional Sports Centre, Kochi on Thursday. The Thunderbolts will now face off against the fourth-placed Bengaluru Torpedoes in the first sem-final on Friday. Vinit Kumar was named the player of the match.
Kolkata began strongly as skipper AshwalRai became involved in the play from the middle straight away. Janshad and Vinit began threatening Ahmedabad with combination play, while the skipper MuthusamyAppavu and LM Manoj counter-attacked for the Defenders. But Cody Caldwell broke down Ahmedabad’s defence with tactical play after which AshwalRai put pressure from the service line and the Thunderbolts took the lead. Abhilash Chaudhary kept blocking Angamuthu, not allowing Ahmedabad to make any headways.
The Thunderbolts did well to keep Angamuthu quiet and the unforced errors kept coming for Ahmedabad. Ashwal led-triple block line put a stop to Nandha’s attacks and Kolkata maintained their control in the game. With not much working out for the Defenders, Ahmedabad sent Shon T John to the court, but his presence did little to hamper Thunderbolts’ concentration. After making a correct review call, the Iranian Danial started making a difference for Ahmedabad. Angamuthu, too, came to life to trouble Thunderbolts’ defence. But Ahmedabad’s struggles with service reception continued and Kolkata maintained its dominance.