For the second season running, Ahmedabad Defenders booked a place in the final of the RuPay Prime Volleyball League Powered by A23, this time by beating Calicut Heroes 3-1 (17-15, 9-15, 17-15, 15-11) in what was a rather tight semi-final contest.

With the win, Ahmedabad completed a stunning double over Calicut Heroes, having previously beaten them 3-2 during the league stage. Interestingly enough, Danial Moatazedi was once again the key for the Gujarat-based team.

For what it’s worth, Calicut did give Ahmedabad a run for their money. Two of the three sets that Ahmedabad won was stretched right until 17 points to decide a winner. Be that as it may, a win is a win no matter how or by how many.

With this result, Ahmedabad Defenders will now take on Bengaluru Torpedoes in the final of the RuPay Prime Volleyball League Powered by A23 Season 2. Before that, however, let’s take a look at three points from Saturday’s semi-final.

Anything you can do, we can do better

Both Ahmedabad Defenders and Calicut Heroes were on the neck of each other right from the very beginning. Take the first set for instance; by the time they reached the first time-out, the teams gave their opponent no margin for error. Even in the third round, one could not figure out who would come out on top.

The contest was so compact that if Calicut were dominant in blocking, Ahmedabad somehow managed to up their attacking prowess and the story was, in fact, the same throughout the game. There was hardly an instance in the first or third set for either team to manage a two-point lead easily.

Services - either on point or totally off it

Although both teams were equally brutal in attack, their ability to serve took the back seat on the night. The teams were either hitting an accurate serve or their attempts were flowing out of the line.

There was simply no option in between. To put things in perspective, midway through the fourth set, Calicut had given away 12 points while serving and the number was eight for Ahmedabad.

Now, Ahmedabad Defenders did come out on top in the end, but if they are to test Bengaluru Torpedoes’ resilience in the final, a lot of work needs to be done in serving.

Where was the game lost for Calicut?

In all fairness, although Calicut put on a dominant display, Ahmedabad made sure they could win points if they received the ball well. As suggested by their coach S Dakshinamoorthy during the post-match presentation, the same was discussed during the break and after losing the second set, their libero stepped up to keep his team in play.

As a result, Ahmedabad not only managed to stay in the game, they ended up winning it.