Andhra Pradesh flattered to deceive, started out strongly but then caved in to Haryana 25-21, 25-19, 25-21 in their men’s Group B match of the Federation Cup volleyball tournament at the flood-lit Cosmopolitan Club court here on Sunday.
The home side advanced through assists and block assists in the opening set. Punching holes in the Haryana half at regular intervals, it was always ahead, even if it was at times by a solitary point. Its multiple block warded off threats time and again.
The visiting side drew level at 18 and thereon turned the tables on the host. It was Haryana that held back its punches, preferring placements instead to attacking hits. By the business end of the set, the northern team had well and truly moved into overdrive.
AP’s game gradually began to fall apart. Against the aces that Haryana let fly, the local squad served mostly floaters that lacked sting and even went wayward, just like some of its spiking. Jump serves from the wiry Haryana hitters packed enough power to unnerve the opponents.
Presently the tourists got into the groove. Its attack revolved mostly around two Shubhams — Choudhary and Sayani. In tandem with Aman Kumar, they either unleashed their smashes from the front court or approached the net to pounce on the free balls that AP fed them with.
The errors piled up for the host as it spilt serves and the anticipation they had initially shown in the blocks was no more to be seen. To add to its woes, Shubham Choudhary began pounding the ball from a resilient back line attack. It came as no surprise then that he was adjudged best player of the match.