Hosts Kochi Blue Spikers and Ahmedabad Defenders played an absolute five-set thriller with the latter emerging with a 3-2 (15-5, 11-15, 9-15, 15-12, 15-14) win to become the first team to book their playoff berth in Season 2 of RuPay Prime Volleyball League Powered by A23.

The topsy-turvy nature of the game was such that the contest went all the way to the final point of the final set to decide the winner. Ultimately, it was Angamuthu Ramaswamy’s spike that sent the Defenders over the line.

With that being done, let’s take a detailed look at three talking points from Ahmedabad Defenders’ narrow win over Kochi Blue Spikers.

Kochi’s all-round performance

Despite an early setback, Kochi Blue Spikers did not throw in the towel & bounced back in style. Boby Xavier’s side were mathematically out of playoff contention after conceding the first set. But rather than perceiving it as an obstruction, the team gave it all, giving the league leaders a run for their money.

After conceding the first set by 10 points & trailing by 3-7 in the second, Kochi turned the tables with a series of thunderous spikes combined with sturdy blocks. They went on to claim successive sets and looked set to upset Ahmedabad. But alas, it wasn’t to be in the end.

Danial was quiet all along

For a player who was named the RuPay Player of the Match the last time Ahmedabad took the court, a return of three points on Sunday is a far cry from his usual self. Against Kochi, Danial Moatazedi’s influence was nowhere to be seen. The Iranian blocker was largely overshadowed by the likes of Angamuthu Ramaswamy, Nandagopal Subramaniyam and Santhosh.

Kochi looked predictive towards the end

While there is no denying the fact that Kochi put their hearts into the game, they looked quite predictive towards the end, especially in the final set. After leading 6-2, they struggled to test Ahmedabad’s defence as their own attack looked compromised.

As for the Defenders, they appeared to have conveniently unscrambled Kochi’s attacking approach and this can be confirmed by the fact that they tallied 11 points from blocks compared to Kochi’s six points.