Chennai: SRM University's volleyball team added yet another trophy to their bulging cabinet by beating Panimalar Engineering College 25-21, 25-19, 25-16 in the final of a state level tournament conducted at St. Louis Institute for the Deaf and the Blind, Adyar, on Thursday. SRM were superior in all departments.
In front of a raucous crowd of St. Louis students, Panimalar had chances to stretch their opponents but they failed to deliver at crucial moments. In volleyball — for that matter any sport — seizing the initiative at an appropriate time matters a lot. But Panimalar didn't have the mental strength to take the final to SRM.
Panimalar were leading 10-8 in the second set. A couple of points at that stage would have put pressure on SRM. Instead of grabbing their opponents' neck, Panimalar shot themselves in the foot through unforced errors.
S. Logeswaran was the culprit in chief as he squandered chances to extend Panimalar's lead. His coach Jayakumar was right to pull out the ineffective attacker.
Blocker Michael Raj, too, endured a poor match for the losing team. He didn't get a block right throughout. SRM blockers, on the other hand, combined superbly.
They also excelled at first-man attack. SRM's towering players made the lack of height in the Panimalar ranks more noticeable.
SRM coach S. Dakshinamoorthy used S. Karthik in place of his first-choice setter T. Balamurugan. It must be said that Karthik carried out his duties well. He used the sharpness of R. Vignesh in wave and back court attacks to telling effect. Karthik didn't hesitate to feed his blockers whenever reception was steady.
Youngster K. Ragul gave a good account of himself in short-ball attack and blocking. SRM universal C. Jerome Vinith came up with some spectacular winners from zone two.