Host IOB made a perfect start to its campaign, with a 25-21, 25-15, 25-20 over Indian Navy, Kochi in a Group A match, in the IOB platinum jubilee national club volleyball championship at the Montfort Stadium here on Monday.
The match, which began after the inauguration ceremony which was presided over by IOB's chairman and managing director, M. Narendra in the presence of VFI President Sivanthi Adityan among others, had a subdued look.
Clearly the teams were finding their feet, and in the first game in particular, smashes and serves often went awry.
But IOB was quick to get into the stride and none inspired it more than that tall Shelton Moses, always close to the net for blocking and deceptive placements.
The wiry Naveen Raja Jacob took time to unravel his ability to smash, as did Selvaprabhu, but IOB was able to inch ahead once the team levelled at eight points all.
For Navy, Vyshak demanded attention both with his jump serves and sure shot spiking.
The lanky Lijo Joseph also caught the eye with his finishing efforts at the net but faded away after receiving a bleeding finger injury.
Once IOB's cohesion improved, Navy was further pushed back. The second game ended swiftly thanks to Selvaprabhu's heroics with serves and mid-court smashes.
The sharpened looks of Shijas Mohammed and Bineesh in effecting thundering smashes meant Navy was ready to fight back. But the team had conceded had too much leeway and Moses came out of a brief rest to finish it off. The win enabled IOB to earn three points.
The morning session matches (three women and one men's) were tightly contested with three going the distance.
Men: Group A: IOB bt Indian Navy 25-21, 25-15, 25-20; HSIIDC bt Southern Railway 20-25, 25-18, 25-20, 23-25, 15-12; Group B: ONGC bt Chennai Customs 25-22, 25-18, 16-25, 19-25, 15-10; BPCL bt Punjab Police 25-22, 25-16, 20-25, 25-22.
Women: Dr. Sivanthi bt SAI, Tellicherry 25-23, 17-25, 20-25, 25-11, 15-11; Southern Railway bt KSEB 25-22, 25-12, 22-25, 18-25, 15-10; Central Railway bt Eastern Railway 25-23, 25-19, 23-25, 25-14 .