U Mumba qualified for the play-offs, defeating Ahmedabad Defenders 4-1 (10-15, 15-12, 15-13, 15-12, 15-8) in a Pro-Volleyball League encounter in Chennai on Monday. The winners will now play table-toppers Calicut Heroes in the first semi-final on February 19.
The first set started with both teams giving each other a tough fight. Each point was contested but two errors from U Mumba cost them as Ahmedabad went into the first Technical Time Out (TTO) with an 8-7 lead. U Mumba’s errors hit them hard as two more unforced errors helped Ahmedabad race into an 11-8 lead.
U Mumba immediately called for a Super Point and converted with a Vinit Kumar spike. Ahmedabad also called for a Super Point and took the advantage of the same. Ahmedabad were able to protect their advantage and won the set 15-10.
In the second set, U Mumba skipper Deepesh Sinha was in good rhythm, as he scored from two spikes and a block to give his side an 8-5 advantage at TTO. Ahmedabad called for a Super Point at 8-11 and converted with a Victor Sysoev spike. But U Mumba was in no mood to let their advantage slip as they won the set 15-12 to level the match 1-1.
In the third, U Mumba were off to a flying start as they scored four quick points with Saqlain Tariq coming up with the first Super Serve of the match. U Mumba was the team in form as they went into the TTO with a 6-point advantage. Ahmedabad looked likely to mount a comeback as they got 3 points on the trot at 5-11, they converted their Super Point as the score stood 9-12 in favour of U Mumba.
Ahmedabad fought back and the difference was two points at 11-13 after two continuous points by Sysoev. U Mumba managed to close the third set 15-13 with a spike by skipper Sinha.
U Mumba was serving immaculately in the fourth set as two serves by Pankaj Sharma and one by Kumar helped them into a 9-4 lead. Ahmedabad called for a Super Point at 5-10 and was successfully converted by Sysoev.
Ahmedabad fought back hard and brought the score to 12-13. U Mumba held their nerve and a block by Nicholas Del Bianco won the set for them by 15-12. U Mumba led 3-1 at this point. They Mumba was relentless in the last set as Vinit Kumar led the charge with a Super Serve and two more serve points. U Mumba won the set 15-8 and the match 4-1.