A confident Kolkata Thunderbolts beat Ahmedabad Defenders 3-2 (15-7, 15-4, 15-13, 8-15, 11-15) in the final league stage game of the RuPay Prime Volleyball League Powered by A23 Season 2 to finish at the top of the standings.

With that result, the Thunderbolts are now scheduled to take on Bengaluru Torpedoes in the first semi-final on Friday, March 3. Ahmedabad Defenders, on the other hand, will square off against Calicut Heroes on Saturday, March 4.

Kolkata Thunderbolts dominated the proceedings right from the beginning, with captain Ashwal Rai opening the scoring. Once the score reached 4-3 in the first set, the Thunderbolts went on to win seven of the next 10 points before taking the set 15-7.

The story was similar in the next couple of rounds as Kolkata made sure the game was wrapped within the first three sets itself.

What happened to Ahmedabad?

Ahmedabad Defenders looked far from their previous selves. One must remember that this was a team that headed into the game on the back of five consecutive victories. This included 3-2 wins over Kochi Blue Spikers, Calicut Heroes and Bengaluru Torpedoes, a 4-1 triumph against Mumbai Meteors and a 5-0 thrashing of Chennai Blitz.

On Thursday, however, Ahmedabad succumbed to Kolkata’s excellence so much so that they could only score four points in the second set. While they did win the last two rounds, it was nothing but a mere consolation.

Kolkata did well to minimize the threat

It’s one thing that Kolkata were utterly dominant in the attack, but one must note the fact that they were equally efficient in defence.

In fact, the team did well in keeping the likes of Angamuthu Ramaswamy, Nandagopal Subramaniyam and Danial Moatazedi quiet throughout the match. While Angamuthu did well enough - he had 12 points to his name - Nandagopal could only muster five while the Iranian was responsible for four points.

Kolkata did not rely on individual brilliance

Vinit Kumar’s return of 12 individual points is truly commendable, but the victory was made possible only through a collective effort. To put things in perspective, as many as 10 Kolkata players had at least a point to their name while the figure was eight for Ahmedabad. Apart from Vinit, Rahul, Suryansh Tomar and Ashwal Rai had at least five points each to their names.