Karnataka men and Kerala women emerged winners in the 67th Senior National Volleyball Championship at Nehru indoor stadium in Chennai on Thursday.
Kerala sprung a huge surprise to deny the powerful Railways team, the defending champion, in a five-set thriller.
Kerala won 3-2 (20-25, 25-17, 17-25, 25-19, 15-8) to end the reign of the 10-time defending champion.
In the men’s final, Karnataka dashed the hopes of the home team, Tamil Nadu, winning 3-1.
In the women’s summit clash, Railways got off to a quick start and went ahead 8-4 before Kerala clawed its way back and levelled at 17-all.
The Railways women pulled away to clinch the set 25-20.
In the second game, the two teams were level pegging in the initial phase before Kerala nosed ahead with enterprising play.
In the third set, the Railways raised their level of play and opened up a big lead.
Despite a late fightback by Kerala, the formidable Railways took the set.
Kerala came out fighting in the fourth set and won it 25-19 to set up a decider.
The final set saw the two sides fight hard but Kerala went ahead 10-8.
There was no stopping Kerala from there as the team won seven points on the trot to complete a memorable victory.
Kerala had last won the women’s title in 2007.
The men’s final was also a well-fought one and Karnataka did well to quell the host’s challenge, bouncing back after losing the first set 21-25 to take the next three 36-34, 25-18, 25-14.
The home team backed by a vocal crowd was in the hunt for the first two sets.
The loss of the second saw Tamil Nadu players lose steam and go down without much of a fight.
Final: Karnataka beat Tamil Nadu 3-1 (21-25, 36-34, 25-18, 25-14). 3rd place match: Kerala beat Punjab 3-0 (25-23, 25-16, 25-19).
Final: Kerala beat Railways 3-2 (20-25, 25-17, 17-25, 25-19, 15-8). 3rd place match: Maharashtra beat West Bengal 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-18).