Kolkata Thunderbolts began their title defence with a 3-2 win (15-11, 15-11, 15-14, 10-15, 14-15) over Bengaluru Torpedoes in the opening match of RuPay Prime Volleyball League Powered by A23 - Season 2 at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday, February 4.

After an early neck-to-neck tussle, hosts Bengaluru raced to a 9-5 lead to put the pressure on the holders. However, Kolkata rode on the combined efforts of Cody Caldwell, Vinit Kumar and Ashwal Rai to turn it around from 7-10 & win the first set 15-11.

The momentum would stay with Kolkata Thunderbolts as they fended off the Torpedoes’ comeback attempt to claim the second set 15-11. Bengaluru showed fight to take a 8-6 lead in the third set.

But somehow, David Lee’s side saw the set go into the pockets of Kolkata. The hosts also failed to make the most of their Super Point and that along with lapses in blocking and scoring, enabled the defending champions to complete a turnaround and take the set 15-14.

Despite losing the match, Bengaluru Torpedoes would salvage some pride by winning the remaining two sets 15-10 & 15-14.

Janshad U was adjudged the Player of the Match, as he played a decisive role in setting shots for attackers Cody and Vinit to strike past the tall Bengaluru wall.

Although he registered just one serve point, Janshad’s presence on the field was crucial for Kolkata to march back into the game, especially in the opening two sets.

The 31-year-old was a pivot for Vinit Kumar to notch 13 attack points while also assisting skipper Ashwal Rai to score six attack points.

Next up, debutants Mumbai Meteors take on Calicut Heroes in match 2 on Sunday, February 5.

The game is scheduled to begin at 7:00 PM IST and will be telecast live on the Sony Sports Network & Sony LIV. Volleyball World will provide the Prime Volleyball League coverage for the international audience.