Saturday, Nov 08, 2003
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By Our Sports Reporter
Tamil Nadu's Siva Kumar flicks the ball past the outstretched hands of M.P. blockers Bhupendra Singh (1) and Kishan Rajawat (4) in a Group C league match of the 12th Mini National volleyball championship in Bangalore on Friday.
Having blanked both Goa and Rajasthan in straight sets this morning and late last night there were expectations of a good showing against last year's third place finisher Madhya Pradesh. And at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Friday evening, the M.P. boys were outsmarted and outspiked by a brilliant team game that Tamil Nadu dished out. Tamil Nadu won 25-22, 26-24, 15-25, 25-17 in just over an hour.
The quarterfinalists were spotted as the contest hotted up on the third day of the championship. While U.P. and Haryana had already finished as one and two from Group A on Thursday, Manipur and A.P. from Group B, T.N. and M.P. from Group C and Karnataka and West Bengal from Group D made the last eight grade in the boys section.
In the girls section, Haryana and Maharashtra (Group A, reduced to a two team affair), Kerala and West Bengal (Group B), T.N. and U.P. (Group C) and Karnataka and A.P. from Group D have qualified for the quarterfinals.
The Tamil Nadu boys, who went 2-0 up, were a wee bit complacent in the third. M.P., thanks to Ashish Suryawanshi and Rajesh Sharma, capitalised on the opportunity to rattle away points at a canter in the third, which T.N. failed to bridge and lost.
However in the fourth John Christopher took up the mantle and proved a revelation. The stocky spiker angled his shots well and was unerring in his placement that had the M.P. defence in disarray.
Though Rajesh brought M.P. back into the game, the big leeway it conceded early on in the set enabled T.N. to clinch the set at 25-17 and top Group C.
Karnataka boys too played a notch above expectations to outplay West Bengal at 25-14, 25-6, 25-16 in just 40 minutes. Pavan H.S was in his elements while captain Ashok A.B and J. Ajay chipped in effectively while Shravan Kumar as libero was a virtual wall at the back.
The results (league):
Boys: Group B: Maharashtra bt Kerala 25-14, 23-25, 23-25, 26-24, 15-10; Manipur bt A.P. 25-23, 25-20, 21-25, 25-23; A.P. bt Kerala 17-25, 2518, 25-18, 25-21.
Group C: TN bt Rajasthan 25-9, 25-17, 25-9; M.P. bt Rajasthan 25-6, 25-21, 25-15; T.N. bt Goa 25-4, 25-13, 25-16; T.N. bt M.P. 25-22, 26-24, 15-25, 25-17.
Group D: Karnataka bt West Bengal 25-14, 25-6, 25-16; Karnataka bt Chattisgarh 25-9, 25-18, 25-7; West Bengal bt J&K 21-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-17.
Girls: Group A: Haryana bt Maharashtra 25-6, 25-8, 25-4.
Group B: Kerala bt M.P. 25-12, 254, 25-10; Kerala bt West Bengal 25-22, 25-15, 25-14; M.P. bt Jharkhand 21-25, 25-20, 25-22, 15-25, 15-12.
Group C: Delhi bt Chhattisgarh 25-17, 22-25, 25-18, 25-16; U.P. bt Chhattisgarh 25-13, 25-12, 25-12; T.N. bt U.P. 25-10, 25-7, 25-10.
Group D: Rajasthan bt Goa 25-16, 25-10, 25-20; A.P. bt Goa 26-24, 25-22, 25-10; Karnataka bt Rajasthan 25-13, 25-13, 25-18.
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