The Kerala Derby of the RuPay Prime Volleyball League Powered by A23 Season 2 fully lived up to expectations as home team Kochi Blue Spikers got their first win of the campaign by beating Calicut Heroes 3-2 (15-13, 14-15, 12-15, 15-7, 15-11) on Saturday, February 25.

Taking the field in less than 24 hours after beating Chennai Blitz on Friday, Calicut looked far from being their usual self. The team lacked the clinical edge throughout the game and Kochi made the most out of it.

A win for Kochi means they still keep their hopes of qualifying alive, while a defeat for Calicut momentarily halted their qualification bid for the knockout rounds of the competition.

Calicut squandered many opportunities

A worn-out Calicut side looked exhausted at times and this was made evident within the first two sets itself when Kochi came from 9-11 down to win the first round 15-13. Even in the second set, Calicut went from leading 10-6 to drawing 13-13.

The most evident feature that everyone observed was the fact that they squandered two super points during the first two sets and one in the final set. In short, they gave Kochi enough room to make regular comebacks.

Perfect way to get the first win

Kochi Blue Spikers have looked dispirited for most part of the tournament this season. The team had lost each of their first four matches of the campaign before tonight’s game, but a performance like this is certain to give their upcoming opponents something to worry about. Interestingly enough, this impressive showing was mostly down to the fact that they were playing in front of the home crowd.

What happened to Calicut?

In all fairness, one must remember that the last time Calicut took the volleyball court was on Friday when they took on Chennai Blitz. This potentially means fatigue was bound to hit at some point in time. This was seen early on in the game and although they did win two of the first three sets, there were times when the players looked quite tired. Fortunately for the team, though, there is some respite as their next game is scheduled against Bengaluru Torpedoes on February 28.