Chennai, Feb 23:
Chennai Spartans defeated Calicut Heroes 3-0 to win the inaugural edition of the Pro Volleyball League here Friday.
The local favourites beat Calicut 15-11, 15-12, 16-14 in the summit clash.
League’s top scorer and best spiker Rudy Verhoeff again delivered as he scored 13 points (11 spikes and 2 blocks) for the winners.
For Calicut, league’s most valuable player Ajith Lal was the highest scorer with nine points (9 spikes).
By virtue of this victory, Chennai Spartans have also qualified for this year’s FIVB Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship.
Both the teams looked equal in the first set of the match until Chennai went into a three-point lead at 8-5 entering the first Technical Time Out (TTO).
Calicut called for a super point immediately after the TTO and converted to close the gap to 7-8.
With the crowd support behind them, Chennai established a three-point cushion again at 12-9.
Calicut was trying to make a comeback but the lead was too steep to climb. Verhoeff and Naveen Raja Jacob scored four points each to help Chennai win the set 15-11. Calicut, who hadn’t lost a single match this season, started the second set nervously.
Chennai didn’t have to work hard for their first four points as three errors from skipper Vinith and one from Karthik gave the home team a 4-1 lead.
But Calicut’s star spiker Lal took matters in his hands, getting the visitors three spike points to reduce the deficit to 3-5.
For Chennai, Verhoeff was in the form of his life as he scored his 100th point in the league when his side took a 9-6 lead.
At 10-8 Calicut called for a super point and converted it with a Karthik spike. Immediately, Chennai called for one and Verhoeff didn’t make any mistake to bring back a two-point lead for his side at 12-10.
Spike from Lal and service error from Jacob got Calicut at 12-13 but Chennai wasn’’t letting this slip and Verhoeff, this time with a block, put them 2-0 up in the match.