Competition continued to be fierce as the second day rolled on in the second leg of the Panimalar-SAIL-Indian Volley League (IVL) here on Sunday.
Riding on the proficiency displayed by Naveen Jacob Raja, Kerala Killers recovered from the blues of defeat suffered against Hyderabad Chargers on Saturday. Though not emphatic, Killers beat Yanam Tigers by three games to one.
Expectedly, it was a close contest with no quarter asked and none given. Killers had the edge thanks to the sharp attacks by Naveen Jacob both from the mid-court and near the net. Aiding him in the execution job were the gangling Jinson Verghese and Vaishnav.
Helped by the height advantage of Subba Rao, Yanam Tigers managed to keep the pressure on Kerala Killers almost throughout. Tom Joseph and John Christopher were impressive in their work outs, the former especially came up with a few thundering finishes leaving the Kerala defenders nonplussed. The fourth game was keenly fought from the start. The Kerala outfit had the edge here initially but the Tigers levelled at 17-17. Thereafter it was neck-and-neck tussle and eventually the scales tilted in favour of Kerala Killers.
Chennai Spikers suffered its second defeat in as many days succumbing to the leader of the first edition, Maratha Warriors, in the five-set duel. Notwithstanding the rousing start — Spikers won 25-15 — the team slipped into a sea of errors, especially in the back court to concede the initiative to Maratha Warrors.
Methodic and better organised Warriors profited a great deal by the inspiration provided by the diminutive southpaw Omvir Mann who excelled both in blocks and finishes.
Pradeep and Aziz were too smart to be beaten at the net. Their combined blocks unnerved the Spikers' attackers.
The Warriors team which went down to Yanam Tigers without a fight on Saturday showed appreciable measure of fortitude to comeback into the fray from the second game. Some fine spiking by Mandeep and Navjit kept Spikers afloat in the second.
The third game was fought tooth and nail but total confusion in the midcourt even with the accomplished setter Kapil Dev as the leader caused the downfall in extra points.
Gaining confidence and with libero Surender Kumar contributing a great deal in the back court, Warriors maintained a grip all through and in the final game wrapped up the match with a difference of five points.
The best efforts by Karthikeyan — a few of his smashes were thundering across the net — did prove enough to galvanise the rest in the decider.
Easy for Chargers
Hyderabad Chargers achieved a facile victory over Karnakata Killers in straight games.
This was its second consecutive victory.
The results: Kerala Killers bt Yanam Tigers 25-22, 18-25, 23-22, 25-22; Maratha Warriors bt Chennai Spikers 15-25, 25-21, 26-24, 16-25, 15-10; Hyderabad Chargers bt Karnataka Bulls 25-17, 25-15, 27-25.
Monday's matches: Kerala Killers vs Maratha Warriors (3.30 p.m.); Karnataka Bulls vs Yanam Tigers (5 p.m.); Chennai Spikers vs Hyderabad Chargers (6.30 p.m.).