Chennai, February 17: Day 14 of the RuPay Pro Volleyball League saw Chennai Spartans qualify for the playoffs at the expense of Ahmedabad Defenders as they beat them 4-1 (15-6, 13-15, 15-13, 15-11,15-12) at the Nehru Indoor Stadium.
Rudy Verhoeff created a new milestone for the season by levelling his own record of 20 points (18 spikes and 2 serve points) in a single match for the third time. Verhoeff also became the player with highest number of points in the league at 80 points.
In the first set, Chennai started the match with a streak of points racing to a 6-3 lead. Ruslans Sorokins and Rudy Verhoeff continued from where they left on Saturday. Sorokins and Verhoeff scored 3 points each including a Super Serve to help Chennai enter the first Technical Time Out (TTO) with a 9-3 lead.
After the TTO, Chennai kept the pressure up. Ahmedabad called for a Super Point at 5-11 but couldn’t take the advantage. Chennai closed the set 15-6 with a Naveen Raja Jacob spike.
Ahmedabad started the second set on a positive note going up 4-0. It looked like that Ahmedabad would run away with the set but Chennai pulled back and reduced the deficit to 5-7. But it was a Gurinder Singh spike which helped his side enter TTO with an 8-5 lead.
Immediately after TTO, Chennai called for a Super Point and converted reducing the advantage to just 1 point for Ahmedabad. Both teams fought hard till the last point of the set. At 13-14, Jacob’s serve went out and Ahmedabad won the set 15-13.
In the third, it was a hard-fought battle, at 6-6 Gurinder and Mandeep Singh helped Ahmedabad enter the TTO with a two-point lead. At 9-9, Ahmedabad called for a Super Point and converted with a GR Vaishnav spike. Immediately, Chennai called for a Super Point and converted with a Verhoeff spike.
Soon after, Jacob came up with a swinging serve and Chennai led for the first time in the set. At 14-13 Chennai had the set point and a Sorokins spike closed the set 15-13. Sorokins and Jacob scored 8 out of the 15 points for Chennai in the set.
Chennai carried the momentum from the third set and went into an 8-5 lead at TTO with Verhoeff leading the attack yet again. Ahmedabad called for a Super Point at 9-11 and failed to convert giving Chennai a four-point advantage. Chennai didn’t let the lead slip and won the set 15-11. Chennai led 3-1 at this point.
Last set was only of mathematical consequence as Chennai had already qualified for the playoffs. Inspite of that both teams went toe-to-toe even in the last set. Chennai lead at TTO 8-7. Chennai called for a Super Point at 9-10 and converted. Ahmedabad did the same but failed to convert giving Chennai at 3-point advantage. Chennai closed the set 15-12 and the match 4-1.
RuPay player of the match: Rudy Verhoeff of Chennai Spartans
Final Score: Chennai Spartans beat Ahmedabad Defenders - 15-6, 13-15, 15-13, 15-11,15-12
Source: Press Release