Bengaluru, 14th February 2023: Defending Champions Kolkata Thunderbolts continued their winning run, as they picked up their third consecutive victory in the second season of the RuPay Prime Volleyball League by beating the Kochi Blue Spikers 15-9, 15-11, 15-14, 15-11, 12-15 at the Koramangala Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday. Rahul was named the Player of the Match for his superb performance.
Kolkata Thunderbolts team director Mr Sumedh Patodia lauded the team’s performance after it registered an emphatic win over the Kochi Blue Spikers. He said, “The tournament is not finished yet. We have a lot of games to go ahead, so we have to stay focused as a team. We will carry the same momentum going in our next match and give our 100%. Winning three out of three is something phenomenal that the team has achieved.”
Banking on the middle blockers, the Kolkata Thunderbolts’ went soft from the service line with Ashwal Rai and Deepesh Kumar Sinha putting on blocks. With Kochi’s defence line struggling, Vinit Kumar and Rahul made the most of it and started making powerful spikes.
Rahul and Cody Caldwell joined Kolkata’s blocking party and Kochi’s spikers Rohit Kumar and Erin Varghese found no space to hit their shots. The reception from libero Hari Prasad BS further helped the Thunderbolts as he kept making brilliant passes.
A couple of errors from the defending champions allowed Abhinav and George Antony to begin Kochi’s resistance. But Cody and Deepesh shut down the doors on Spikers’ momentum.
An under-pressure Kochi made errors as Walter Da Cruz Neto could not find any rhythm. Cody and Deepesh worked in tandem in the middle, putting on powerful blocks, while Janshad kept setting up Ashwal and Rahul for spikes.
Communication improved between middle blockers Walter and Abhinav and Kochi received a small ray of hope. But Rahul made back-to-back super serves to dent Spikers’ hopes and Kolkata Thunderbolts picked a 4-1 win to climb back to the top of the table.