A new champion emerged when Sports Development Authority of India (SDAT) annexed the Ramaswamy Trophy in the SRM-CDVA senior division volleyball league championship for men at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium.
SDAT conquered four-time winner Indian Overseas Bank with consummate ease — 25-16, 26-24, 26-14 — to top the table with 23 points and maintain its unbeaten run in the nine-team competition.
Interestingly, all the SDAT players are students of the SRM University.
IOB had an outside of chance of retaining the trophy before the teams clashed. If it had won 3-0, or 3-1 then the trophy would have been back in its possession.
But SDAT smashed all such assumptions with a perfect display of attack and defence, both individually and collectively.
The verve and vivacity displayed by SDAT players from the start was enough to confirm their impending dominance. It may be inappropriate to pick an individual for the collective success.
But skipper Balamurugan maintained the edge over the rest although everyone put in an impressive performance.
Among others who caught the eye most was Ananda Raj who never missed a spike. The south paw Rajkumar was the cynosure of all eyes whenever he jumped for a smash and a placement. His angle and variation of attack left the IOB players flabbergasted.
Clearly missing the services of Naveen Raja, who is on duty in a professional league in Iran, the IOB team showed little cohesion. The score line clearly indicates this.
Nadarajan, Ukkirapandian and Moses strove manfully to make their presence felt but that proved futile against the craft and consistency of SDAT.
SDAT won the prize money of Rs. 50,000, while IOB had to be content with the runner-up award of Rs. 40,000.
Customs (Rs. 30,000) and Panimlar (Rs. 20,000) finished third and fourth respectively.
Mr. T.R. Pachamuthu, Chancellor, SRM University, presided over the prize distribution function.
SDAT Played 8, won 8, Points 23; IOB 8-6-1-18; Customs 8-5-3-16; Panimalar 8-4-4-13; ICF 8-4-4-11; SRM 8-4-4-11; Indian Bank 8-3-5-10, TN Police 8-2-6-6; BSNL 8-0-8-0.
Individual prizes (Rs. 3,000 each):
Attacker: Vignesh (SRM), Blocker: Sounder (Indian Bank).
All rounder: Selva Prabhu (IOB), Setter: Balamurugan (SDAT).
Player of the tournament: Anand Raj (SDAT).