Ahmedabad Defenders stunned the Calicut Heroes to win a five-set thriller 15-13, 13-15, 15-13, 13-15, 15-11 in the second season of the Prime Volleyball League (PVL) at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium here on Monday.
For his memorable performance, Danial Moatazedi was named the Player of the Match.
Sandoval showcased his intentions straightaway, making powerful spikes, with Mohan Ukkrapandian setting up his attackers. But Ahmedabad Defenders maintained their cool and relied on LM Manoj and skipper Muthusamy Appavu pairing to keep neck-and-neck with the opposition.
With relentless attacks, Danial and Manoj put the Defenders in control. But the more Jerome Vinith started finding his footing in the match, he started winning the battle of the opposites. Being enabled by Muthusamy, Danial smashed hard from the middle as Ahmedabad took control.
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The Heroes brought the service pressure to Ahmedabad to begin their resistance. Calicut did well to keep the in-form Angamuthu quiet. Ahmedabad brought Andrew Kohut to the court and his presence added extra flair, and the Defenders managed to regain control.
Nandhagopal Subramaniyam came late to the party, but he started troubling Calicut. The more aggressive Ahmedabad became with their attacks, the more Sandoval's two-man block line became crucial. With counter-attacking moves, Jerome and Sandoval pushed the match to the fifth set.
With Sandoval, Jerome, and Ashwin making hard spikes, Calicut tightened the screws on Ahmedabad. But as Muthusamy kept setting up Angamuthu and Manoj, Ahmedabad remained in the contest. With monstrous blocks, Danial closed out the game and Ahmedabad won the match 3-2 to climb to the top of the table.