BANGALORE: Karnataka women crossed a major hurdle with relative ease downing Tamil Nadu 25-14, 25-9, 25-21, in the 15th South Zone Senior National volleyball championship, conducted by the J.P. Nagar Sports Club at the Durga Parmeshwari grounds here on Friday.
TN is here with a string of college girls. But the team was expected to put up a much better show.
However, the defence was just not cohesive; the first pass was literally non-existent as libero Bhuvaneshwari had a bad day.
Karnataka on the other hand was solid in attack, the induction of three players from Kerala — Bijina, Shyma and Shini — working well. With junior international Shwetha and Ashwini also proving their rising stature, there was all round effort. Setter and captain Shyla Thomas came up with some impecable drops catching the rival defence wrong-footed while libero Suma Hegde was simply unpassable in defence.
After rattling up the first two sets in quick time, Karnataka, perhaps, grew complacent. It showed even during the final moments of the second set when it allowed Tamil Nadu to rally from 24-3 to 24-9 before wrapping it up.
In the third, however the scores ran close till 18-18 before Karnataka nosed ahead to clinch the match.
Earlier in the day, Kerala women continued their attacking game to cruise to a thumping 25-5, 25-8, 25-12 win over a mediocre Pondicherry. Late last night, Tamil Nadu men outspiked Andhra Pradesh 25-18, 25-19, 25-21 for their first win while AP suffered its second straight defeat. In a women’s match, TN girls were far too superior to Pondicherry, winning 25-3, 25-9, 25-14. — Special Correspondent