KSEB (Thiruvananthapuram) appears to be the best team in the women’s section of the ongoing National Club volleyball championship here. With several junior and senior Internationals in the side and every player in fine form, the team looks hungry for glory.
With its principal rival Southern Railway not in full strength, KSEB would fancy its chances of clinching the title, when the two face-off in the final league match on Sunday.
Against St. Joseph’s College of Engineering on Friday in its penultimate tie, KSEB scripted an authoritative 29-27, 25-20, 25-19 victory.
St. Joseph’s gave it all in the first set taking KSEB by surprise.
Though none of the players have the natural flair and the attacking instincts that KSEB players have, St. Joseph’s retrieved every ball and made every rally count.
St. Joseph’s took an early 8-4 lead with some effective spiking from Karthika.
Leading 17-14, St. Joseph’s allowed KSEB to equalise at 17-all. Tiji Raju and Jomol’s spiking ensured KSEB stayed in the hunt.
St. Joseph’s had three set points at 24-21, but couldn’t convert any of them.
The remaining sets saw KSEB in full control with Tiji Raju, Jomol and Alphonsa taking turns to finish points.
Western Railway edged out Chennai Customs 25-21, 21-25, 16-25, 25-20, 15-13 to finish second in a men’s Group ‘A’ match behind ONGC (Dehradun). The two teams have qualified for the semifinals.
It was a see-saw encounter which both teams not giving an inch.
Customs took a two-sets to one lead thanks to effective spiking by John Christopher and Shaheem. The star of the match was Western’s captain Ankit Choudhary. The universal was the most consistent player, scoring winners whenever his team needed.
Leading 11-7, Ankit was taken off the court after he injured his knee while going for a smash. He came back immediately with a bandage and rightly, he hit the winning shot — a jumping cross-court smash.
Men: ‘A’: Western Railway bt Chennai Customs 25-21, 21-25, 16-25, 25-20, 15-13.
Group B: Income Tax (Hyderabad) bt ICF (Chennai) 25-21, 25-19, 25-18.
Women: KSEB (Thiruvananthapuram) bt St. Joseph’s COE 29-27, 25-20, 25-19.
Keywords: National Club volleyball championship