Raging Bulls lose again

Volleyball IVL: Karnataka outfit suffers its third-straight loss; Tigers beat Killers

On a thrilling Tuesday, which saw fortunes swing back and forth with every serve, the Bulls succumbed to a 27-29, 28-30, 25-23, 16-25 loss at the hands of the men from Hyderabad, but they had every reason to hold their head up high and hope for things to brighten-up in the course of the month-long tournament.

For starters, the Bulls looked a more composed lot on the blocking front and secondly, they went about their business with a sense of purpose -- something they didn’t seem to have in their previous two games. However, the improvement meant little to the dwindling, boisterous crowd as the result painted a different picture.

In the opening set, the Bulls got off to a promising start, but the Chargers caught up with them and levelled scores at 4-4. Spikers Lalit Kumar and Lavneet Katariya gave Chargers the sting they required to take the lead at 5-4 and hold on to it for the most part but the Bulls were never too far behind. Despite managing to score some points, Sanjay Kumar was off the mark with his powerless smashes but blockers Jagadeesh and N Shelton Moses did justice to their role in style to even the score at 20-20.

With the crowd behind egging them on, the Bulls looked set to clinch the first set, however, the Chargers, who looked unmoved by the situation, held their nerve and grabbed the set. Both the teams were engaged in a heady battle at the start of the second set and with neither willing to let go of an inch, the battle waged on. The lead switched hands on several occasions but it was the Chargers who came on top in the end as the Bulls’ tendency to lose their calm in pressure situations was on display again.

Coach Om Prakash swapped the injured Sanjay, who hurt his back at the start of the second set, with Anup D’ Costa in the third set and the Bulls suddenly looked primed to stage a thrilling come back. With local lad Anup spiking from the back court, A Vikram, who has been in good touch, found some space on the front and the duo made the most of Chargers’ fragile blocking unit to reduce the deficit to 1-2.

However, Chargers skipper M Ukkara Pandiyan synchronised his sides’ every move to perfection and the outcome of that was another Bulls defeat in the fourth set.

Results: Hyderabad Chargers bt Karnataka Bulls 3-1 (29-27, 30-28, 25-23, 25-16); Yanam Tigers bt Kerala Killers 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-15); Chennai Spikers bt Maratha Warriors 3-0 (25-22, 25-13, 25-18).

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