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TN, Kerala triumph

Bangalore: Tamil Nadu recorded a fourth successive title triumph at the sub-junior National volleyball championships, after an authoritative four-set win over Uttar Pradesh in the boys' final, at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Sunday. Save for a listless beginning to the opening set, and a poor third, the champion remained in unassailable control during the 25-23, 25-17, 19-25, 25-16 victory.

Kerala, meanwhile, successfully defended the girls' title, staving off Tamil Nadu in a hard-fought final it eventually won 25-21, 23-25, 25-21, 25-18.

Setter Asad Saruddin picked up where he left off in Saturday's semifinal win over Rajasthan, linking well with Shivam Kumar Tripathi to put Uttar Pradesh into an early lead. The sides were deadlocked at 22-22 before Arun David, the tallest member of the Tamil Nadu side, effected two outstanding blocks to put his side ahead. Setter S. Amarnath then created an opening for Senthil Kumar, who charged in from the right to spike one right down the middle of the court.

The defending champion brutally extinguished any hopes Uttar Pradesh may have had of gaining a foothold in the match in the second set, with Sathish Kumar and Arun David irrepressible at the net. The latter was excellent throughout, flawless in his blocking and brutal with his spiking.

Although, seemingly, a lack of concentration cost Tamil Nadu the third, David and Saravana Kumar — who possessed, arguably, the best serve at the tournament — ensured normal service was restored.

The results: Boys: Final: TN bt UP 25-23, 25-17, 19-25, 25-16. Bronze medal match: Rajasthan bt Kerala 21-25, 22-25, 25-13, 27-25, 15-13. Girls: Final: Kerala bt TN 25-21, 23-25, 25-21, 25-18. Bronze medal match: West Bengal bt Rajasthan 25-9, 25-15, 25-21 .

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