Bengaluru, February 11th: In their first encounter against Mumbai Meteors, Calicut Heroes were stunned by the RuPay Prime Volleyball League debutants in the first set. As Mumbai won the set with ease, it seemed like Calicut might not be able to get back to the contest. But with hundreds of fans cheering on at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru, Calicut Heroes went on to win the remaining sets with ease and picked up a comeback victory.
Speaking ahead of Calicut’s second encounter against Hyderabad Black Hawks, which is set to take place at the same venue on Saturday, star playmaker Jerome Vinith explained how his team managed to get the win despite losing the first set.
“When we entered the match and lost the first set, we were a little bit nervous. Our passes were not going right in the first 10 minutes. But we settled down and spoke to each other after the first set and rectified our errors to come back and win the match,” the attacker said.
Now, set to face off against the young and dynamic Hyderabad side led by SV Guru Prashanth, who have won one of their two games, Vinith said that his squad has made their strategies keeping the opposition’s strengths in mind.
“Hyderabad are a very good team and they can create pressure any moment. We have experienced players in our camp. So we are quite confident. We do not underestimate any opponents, and we have made our strategies keeping Hyderabad’s squad in mind,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Black Hawks were outplayed by the defending champions Kolkata Thunderbolts in their second encounter, as they lost the game 1-4. But attacker Varun GS insists that his team made the errors that cost them the game.
“Our team is quite strong. We picked an easy win in the first game as we played with confidence. In the second game, Kolkata Thunderbolts did not win points, we gave away points ourselves making unforced errors that cost us the game. We look to reduce these errors against Calicut Heroes,” he said.
It has already been seen several times in RuPay Prime Volleyball League powered by A23 that making too many unforced errors can prove to be costly. Bengaluru Torpedoes made 19 unforced errors in their first game against Kolkata and then continued a similar trend against Ahmedabad Defenders on Thursday, and ended up losing both games.
Vinith expands on why it is important to ensure players that they do not give away freebies in the 15-point format. “This is a 15-point match. It is very easy and very difficult to win the matches. If everyone makes one mistake, you have already lost six points. The team that makes fewer errors will win the matches,” he said.
For Hyderabad, two overseas players Trent O’Dea and Carlos Zamora have both proven to be quite effective and Varun opened up on how the two players communicate with the rest of the team during tough moments in a match.
“Trent O’Dea is quite experienced. He guides us a lot when we are going down in a match. He motivates us during the match and gives good advice. Carlos Zamora is also vastly experienced and a great presence on the field.”
While many would expect Hyderabad to get flustered seeing the level of support Calicut Heroes enjoy in the stadium, Varun made it clear that his team will focus on their own game and will not be affected by it.
“I don’t feel our team will get affected by the presence of Calicut fans. We are used to playing amid crowds. We just look to focus on our game. In fact, the stadium was empty last year – but crowds are back now, so it is quite thrilling to play in front of them.”
On the other hand, Vinith feels the fans are part of the Calicut army and he hopes to continue the winning momentum in front of them.
“We are excited to play in front of the fans again. Their presence really motivates us. They are a part of our army and we are eager to get another win against them,” he signed off.
The RuPay Prime Volleyball League powered by A23 will be telecast LIVE on Sony Sports Ten 1 (English), Sony Sports Ten 3 (Hindi), Sony Sports Ten 4 (Tamil & Telugu) & Sony Sports Ten 2 (Malayalam) channels in India and will be streamed on Volleyball World TV outside the Indian subcontinent, starting February 4, Saturday.