BSNL to lock horns with ASC in final

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) produced a clinical performance to overwhelm Madras Engineer Group (MEG) 25-21, 25-20, 25-18 and cruise into the final of the 19th State ‘A’ Division volleyball championship at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor stadium on Wednesday.

BSNL will lock horns with Army Service Corps (ASC), who knocked out defending champions Karnataka State Police (KSP) 30-28, 25-17, 11-25, 25-9 in the second semifinal, in the summit clash on Thursday.

With two strong teams locking horns, a thriller was expected but BSNL pulled off a fairly convincing victory. The first set started with MEG keeping up the pressure on BSNL as Prabhu and Prince came up with some fine smashes.

BSNL were aided by Anoop D’Costa’s swinging smashes and Ravi Kumar’s attacking and blocking abilities. The set was tied 20-all before BSNL wrapped things up at 25-21.

In the second set, BSNL raced to a five-point lead at 13-8. MEG, however, narrowed the margin by one point at 18-17 before BSNL again took control of the proceedings.
Maruthi G Nayak’s drop shots and Arul Selvan’s telling smashes and Ravi’s setting at the net guided BSNL to a 25-20 set victory.

BSNL continued the domination in the third set. Sujit Acharya joined D’Costa and Nayak to pile on the misery for the Sappers with some drop shots and brilliant smashes.

They racked up a five-point lead at 15-10 to leave MEG to do some catching up. But MEG offered little resistance this time as they struggled to block the rampaging smashes coming from across the court. BSNL finally pocketed the set at 25-18 and wrapped up the match.

In the second semifinal, ASC trailing KSP for a large part of the first set launched a stunning comeback to win the set 30-28. Saneesh was the lynchpin of the resurgence plundering smashes to great effect.

After bagging the second set comfortably at 25-17, ASC lost the third set 11-25. But the Armymen were ruthless in the fourth set and eventually pocketing it 25-9.

Results (semis): BSNL bt MEG 25-21, 25-20, 25-18; ASC bt KSP 30-28, 25-17, 11-25, 25-9.

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