Chennai Spikers strolled to its second straight victory in the Indian Volley League with a superlative all-round performance to trounce Maratha Warriors in three sets here on Tuesday.
S. Prabakaran, K.G. Ragesh and Mandeep Singh all turned in improved displays as Chennai romped to a 25-22, 25-13, 25-18 win in under an hour.
Expressing delight over a well-ordered “team performance”, coach A. Venkatesan said his side's blocking had vastly picked up. Captain J. Nadarajan, he stated, had been benched owing to his poor showing in the first two games.
“Today, Mandeep and Prabakaran did well with the blocking. Our first pass was also good. Prabakaran was not great in the previous two matches but I'm glad he improved today.”
Praise for Kapil
Venkatesan, however, singled out setter Kapil Dev for extra praise. “His distribution was excellent throughout,” he said.
Chennai established a quick lead in the first set that it showed no signs of relinquishing. Prabakaran and Mandeep easily prevailed over a subdued opposition at the net. The former, a dodgy service notwithstanding, made routine contributions with his attacks from the backcourt.
It was evident that the only Maratha Warriors player Chennai was wary of was D. Selva Prabhu, and with him restricted to the odd successful spike, there was little to be troubled by.
Warriors demonstrated little or no cohesion as Kapil fluently set his pack of attackers up. Prabakaran maintained his marauding runs even into the final set, while Ragesh joined in from the back row with a slew of spikes down the left-hand side. Only Omvir Mann and T. Azeez managed anything of note for Warriors on a day when its much-vaunted senior members went missing.
Host Karnataka Bulls, meanwhile, endured its third successive defeat as it fell 29-27, 30-28, 23-25, 25-16 to Hyderabad Chargers in a demanding evening encounter.
The results: Yanam Tigers bt Kerala Killers 25-17, 25-19, 25-15; Chennai Spikers bt Maratha Warriors 25-22, 25-13, 25-18; Hyderabad Chargers bt Karnataka Bulls 29-27, 30-28, 23-25, 25-16.
Monday's result: Chennai Spikers bt Karnataka Bulls 20-25, 25-23, 26-24, 25-19.
Wednesday's matches: Hyderabad Chargers vs Yanam Tigers 3:30 p.m., Chennai Spikers vs Kerala Killers 5:00 p.m., Karnataka Bulls vs Maratha Warriors 6:30 p.m.
Keywords: Indian Volley League