Ruthless hosts beat high-flying Services

Karnataka post 3-0 win; Railways' women score

Ruthless hosts beat high-flying Services

After their laboured victory against Rajasthan in the competition opener, an improved Karnataka men’s team got past Services in fine fashion to notch their second straight win in the 64th Senior National Volleyball Championship here at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor stadium on Monday.

A resilient defensive unit of Karnataka, led by skipper A Karthik, outsmarted the Services attack. Despite a minor fightback from Services in the third set, hosts Karnataka looked a better side on the day as they went on to clinch the Group ‘B’ contest 25-19, 25-23, 27-25.

In another Group ‘B’ match, Tamil Nadu, after starting their campaign on a losing note, posted a come-from-behind victory against Rajasthan to regain some confidence. The GR Vaishnav-led side beat Rajasthan 20-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-19 in a match that lasted 75 minutes.

In the women’s category, there were no surprises, with defending champions Railways and last year’s runners-ups Kerala posting comfortable wins. Railways routed Punjab 25-09, 25-03, 25-10 while Kerala thumped Telangana 25-11, 25-14, 25-18.

After shocking Tamil Nadu in their opening game, the Services men were expected to post a strong challenge to Karnataka but the visitors were totally outplayed by the hosts in all departments. In the first set, blocker Bharath CM was right on target as Karnataka scored points at will.

The youngster’s impressive performance dented the rhythm of the Services’ attackers and the hosts took the set in their favour with ease. Following its ordinary outing against Rajasthan, Karnataka’s defence was exceptional and skipper Karthik turned out to be the star for his team, with accurate blocking and smashing.

The 20-year-old Postal player was ruthless in his approach in the second set and led Karnataka’s onslaught. To Karnataka’s good fortunes, key man Anup D’Costa, who was off-colour in the first game, resulting in his substitution, was in his elements right from the start and his powerful smashes at crucial junctures kept the momentum going for Karnataka.

In the third set, Services bettered their game and took a healthy 13-10 lead. But, Karnataka rallied well to draw level at 20-20. Despite a few errors, Karnataka hung in well to emerge victorious.

Praising his wards, Karnataka coach MH Kumara said: “The boys played with vigour and our blockers were too good. The defence too showed great improvement when compared to the first game and I am happy with the performance.” In their final league game on Wednesday, Karnataka will face Tamil Nadu.

Results: Men: Group B: Tamilnadu bt Rajasthan 3-1 (20-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-19); Karnataka bt Services 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 27-25).

Group C: Jammu & Kashmir bt Delhi 3-1 (17-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-14).Group D: Himachal Pradesh bt Odisha 3-0 (25-23, 25-15, 25-23).

Group E: Gujarat bt Bihar 3-1 (20-25, 25-21, 29-27, 25-18); Group E: Haryana bt Assam 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-20).

Group F: Chhattisgarh bt Tripura 3-0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-15); Odisha bt Goa 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-20); Telangana bt Tripura 3-0 (25-14, 25-10, 25-20).Women: Group B: Tamil Nadu bt Haryana 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-14).Group C: Odisha w/o Tripura.

Group D: Madhya Pradesh bt Jammu & Kashmir 25-06, 25-09, 25-12; Uttar Pradesh bt Uttarakhand 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-11).

Group E: Andhra Pradesh bt Gujarat 3-1 (25-14, 24-26, 25-22, 25-21); Chandigarh bt Jharkhand 3-2 (20-25, 25-11, 25-22, 22-25, 15-06).

Group F: Delhi bt Bihar 3-0 (25-14, 25-11, 25-12); Himachal Pradesh bt Pondicherry 3-0 (25-07, 25-05, 25-07). 

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