After retaining the spine of the team from Season 1 of RuPay Prime Volleyball League Powered by A23 and getting in some good picks in the 2023 auction, Hyderabad Black Hawks were one of the favourites to win the whole thing the second time around. They lived up to this sentiment as their newly hired international canon Trent O’Dea and crown jewel Guru Prasanth were firing on all cylinders beating Ahmedabad Defenders, the previous season’s finalists, 3-2 in their opening fixture.

Skipper Guru Prasanth welcomed the challenge of shouldering the team’s responsibility with open arms. Trust quickly turned into over-reliance which proved fatal. Their stars lacked the same pep in their step which had earned them their reputation and without a clear alternative, the Hawks faltered. Back-to-back defeats to Season 1 champions Kolkata Thunderbolts and Calicut Heroes put their qualification chances in jeopardy.

Enter Hemanth P. His explosiveness coupled with his deadly serve led to the Hawks’ 3-2 triumph over the Kochi Blue Spikers. That momentum continued to the next game as the Hawks rose victorious against Chennai Blitz. An absolute masterclass by their knight in shining armour Prasanth provided them with a crucial victory against Bengaluru Torpedoes as well who scored 20 points in that game alone!

On the cusp of qualification, up one set in the final game, the Hyderabad Black Hawks’ rise was cut short as they lost four straight sets to the new boys on the block, Mumbai Meteors ending their 2023 season campaign in fifth place with a total of 8 points.

Top Performers

Guru Prasanth

We would run out of superlatives trying to describe the tremendous talent of Guru Prasanth - the Best Spiker Of The 2023 Season not just for Hyderabad Black Hawks but in the entire league. Prasanth racked up a mammoth 102 attack points with a success rate of 52.58%. With his insurmountable ability to find angles and holes within the opponents' defence, Prasanth did not shy away from taking on any challenge and led by example. He was also awarded the title of Most Valuable Player Of The 2023 Season which was the icing on the cake for the individually brilliant season he had.

Hemanth P

Explosiveness personified, Hemanth P put 200% of himself into every spike. Being called upon in Hyderabad’s time of need, Hemanth answered the call and how. By taking immense pressure off of Guru Prasanth’s shoulders and giving the opponents a deadly weapon to keep track of, Hemanth was integral to the Hawks’ endeavour.

And if that wasn’t enough, his ability to hit the living daylights out of a serve made him one of the top three servers in the league with the highest success rate (17.65%) out of anyone with 4+ service points.

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Top Performances

Ahmedabad Defenders vs Hyderabad Black Hawks (2-3)

Redemption for Hyderabad as they beat the team that handed them two losses straight and knocked them out of the competition in the semi-finals last time around. Ahmedabad Defenders came out all guns blazing and took the first set but the Hawks’ determination and a bombardment of spikes from skipper Guru Prasanth and Trent O’Dea gave them victory grabbing the next three sets straight.

Hyderabad Black Hawks vs Chennai Blitz (3-2)

A rude awakening for the Hawks who headed into this one with confidence due to the 5-0 thrashing previously as Chennai Blitz won the first set. Coming back from behind, However, Hyderabad cleared the cobwebs and fought back to win the next set 15-14. Then, Prasanth took over and Chennai had no answer to his genius. They managed to nick the fourth set but all for nought as Prasanth would go on to score 20 points in that game alone and close out a 3-2 victory.