A happy double for Kerala

Principal Correspondent

ANGAMALY: Kerala celebrated a double in the 11th National youth volleyball championship here on Sunday with Tamil Nadu finishing second best in both the finals.

While the host men, thriving on Vysakh Sundaran and captain Adarsh Hari’s fine smashing, dethroned defending champion Tamil Nadu 19-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-17, the Kerala women triumphed in three easy sets.

Kerala’s double comes after a two-year break, the last also coming at home at Vadakara.

Tamil Nadu men began with a bang, stunning Kerala with their fast attack and block.

Captain Balamani came up with his ‘kills’ even before Kerala could put up the wall while D. Sounder and N. Surendar found the vacant spots in the host’s backcourt. But TN’s joy was short-lived. Its main setter Ananda Babu suffered a muscle pull towards the end of the first set and limped out.

Suddenly and shockingly, the team lost its rhythm.

Earlier, captain V. Soumya led from the front as the host beat Tamil Nadu 25-16, 25-9, 25-12 in just 55 minutes in the women’s final.

The results: Men: Final: Kerala bt Tamil Nadu 19-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-17. Third place: Haryana bt Uttar Pradesh 17-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-18. Other placings: 5. Karnataka, 6. Goa, 7. Rajasthan, 8. Andhra Pradesh.

Women: Final: Kerala bt Tamil Nadu 25-16, 25-9, 25-12. Third place: Himachal Pradesh bt Chhattisgarh 25-9, 25-22, 26-24. Other placings: 5. Maharashtra, 6. West Bangal, 7. Andhra Pradesh, 8. Karnataka.

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