Chennai Spartans edged out Kochi Blue Spikers in a five-set thriller 3-2 (16-14, 9-15, 10-15, 15-8, 15-13) to qualify for the final of the inaugural Pro Volleyball League in Chennai on Wednesday, where they will meet Calicut Heroes.
With 17 points, Ruslans Sorokins was the top-scorer for Chennai Spartans (15 spikes, 1 block, 1 serve) while Kochi’s Manu Joseph also scored 17 points (16 spikes, 1 block) for Kochi.
The home team was in a spot of bother when it was down by two sets to one, but bounced back strongly to take the fourth and nailed an exciting final set to secure a spot in Friday’s summit clash against.
The teams were level-pegging in the first set and at 6-6 a well placed serve by Sorokins created the first opening. Chennai went into the first Technical Time Out leading 8-7. Kochi called for a Super Point immediately after TTO and converted with a Prabagaran spike.
Prabagaran followed it up with another spike on their serve and Kochi now held a 10-8 lead. Chennai called for a Super Point at 9-11 and Rudy Verhoeff converted with a thunderous spike to level the score at 11-11.
It was nail-biting action for the last few points but Chennai finally prevailed and won the first set 16-14.
The second set followed a similar script in the initial stages before the Kochi team forged ahead and won it handily at 15-9. The third set saw Kochi race to a 3-0 lead. Down 3-7 in the set, Chennai called for a Super Point and converted. Kochi kept its nose in front and moved ahead.
In the fourth set, Chennai took command after the early skirmishes and won it 15-8 to force the decider. The score stood at 12-11 in Chennai’s favour they won the match 15-13 to qualify for the final.