Indian Navy shocks HSIIDC; IOB's domination continues

On another day of intense action, Southern Railway teams had mixed fortunes. While the women chugged to their second win in the round-robin league, the men slumped to their second defeat in the IOB platinum jubilee national club volleyball championship at the Montfort stadium here on Tuesday.

These are still early days, and teams suffering early setbacks can still make a comeback. But teams enjoying an early headway hold the advantage like host IOB which came up with another outstanding show.

It notched up its second win in the men's section which has almost ensured it a knockout berth.

Meanwhile, Indian Navy shocked HSIIDC Haryana for its first win.

The focus, however, was on the Railway women who gave little away in stopping Dr. Sivanthi Club in straight games. It was a case of one team looking organised and the other a tad confused.

Railways had in Minimol Abraham and captain Anumol Thomas players who could impart a lot of power in their smashes. Even though both teams started by trading mistakes, as the contest warmed up the Sivanthi girls looked to be in disarray.

Be it first pass or attacking the net, consistency was missing and points were frittered away. Monisha did get a few overhead tries on the spot and libero Thilagavathi dived at times for impossible lifts but overall the performance faded away.

Once the men took over, the echo of smashes rose. Navy's Shijas Mohammed's best years may be behind him but he certainly can whack the ball and HSIIDC's players will vouch for that.

With players like Bineesh, Nibin Salam and Vyshak matching him at times, Navy's resolve was striking. HSIIDC, which had a tough outing against Railways late on Monday night, made it a full-scale contest with its players hardly displaying fatigue. Sohan Singh, Sanjay Kumar, Sube and Jitender took turns to pulverise the rival blocks.

Then came IOB's domination over Southern Railway. The Bank's good block — Shelton Moses was outstanding — and piercing attack where Naveen Raja and Nadarajan were unstoppable, ensured a comfortable win in the end.

The results: Men: Group A: Indian Navy bt HSIIDC 25-20, 20-25, 26-28, 25-16, 16-14; IOB bt Southern Railway 25-23, 27-25, 25-22; Group B: ONGC bt Punjab Police 25-20, 25-21, 25-13. Earlier result: HSIIDC bt Southern Railway 20-25, 25-18, 25-20, 23-25, 15-12.

Women: Eastern Railway bt KSEB 35-20, 19-25, 25-22, 25-29; Southern Railway bt Dr. Sivanthi Club 25-12, 25-15, 25-18; Central Railway bt SAI, Tellicherry 25-22, 26-24, 17-25, 25-22.

Keywords: volleyball