A topsy-turvy battle between Kochi Blue Spikers and Chennai Blitz saw the latter coming out victorious by a scoreline of 3-2 (15-9, 11-15, 15-10, 8-15, 15-9) in Match 4 of RuPay Prime Volleyball League Powered by A23 Season 2 at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru on Tuesday, February 7.

The match, which started with a quick exchange of points between the two, saw Chennai Blitz heading into a 10-6 lead in the first set. Kochi Blue Spikers did try to reduce the deficit but the Naveen Raja Jacob-led team had enough fuel in the tank to snatch the first set.

The Blue Spikers responded well and in style, taking an early 6-3 lead in the second set. Although Chennai Blitz somehow managed to make it 9-9, a series of spikes and blocks allowed the team from Kerala to take the second set.

This neck-to-neck battle saw the two teams sharing the next two sets each and with the score tied at 2-2, the final round became the decisive one. The Blue Spikers looked tired by then and a string of unforced errors aided Chennai Blitz as they won the final set 15-9, winning the match 3-2.

Here’s a look at three key moments from Match 4 of the 2023 RuPay Prime Volleyball League Powered by A23.

Captain’s night - once again
A day after Hyderabad Black Hawks captain Guru Prasanth led his team from the front, Chennai Blitz skipper Naveen Raja Jacob showed he is in a league of his own. The 6-foot 2-inch outside hitter ended his night with a tally of nine points, with a whopping seven points coming from attack.

The lanky hitter accumulated more than six points from his unyielding spikes. As it turns out, only Sebastian Jibin from Kochi Blue Spikers could match his total figures.

Renato, Chennai’s Superstar
While Naveen’s performance was commendable, one cannot overlook the value of Renato Mendes. The Brazilian veteran was one of only two Chennai players to accumulate eight points from the game alongside Akhin GS.

In fact, the match started off with Renato’s powerful spike which opened the scoring for Chennai in the first set. Impressively enough, the Brazilian ended his game with an efficiency of 42.86% in attack as he made a mere two errors.

Chennai need more than that to finish better
It must be remembered that Chennai Blitz finished a lowly sixth in the seven-team tournament in the first season of the competition. Hence if they are to challenge the heavyweights, a lot of work needs to be done in several departments.

To begin with, the team from Tamil Nadu managed just three blocks from the game as compared to Kochi’s 10. Furthermore, they also gave away a whopping 21 points from unforced errors. But all’s well so far for the Blitz as long as it ends well, doesn’t it?