Welcome to the live blog for the Ahmedabad Defenders vs Bengaluru Torpedoes match in Prime Volleyball League (PVL) 2023 Bengaluru leg.

The stage is set for a thrilling encounter in the form of Ahmedabad Defenders vs Bengaluru Torpedoes in the Prime Volleyball League 2023 at the Koramangala Stadium in Bengaluru, Karnataka on Thursday. Both teams are eager to bounce back from their opening losses and earn their first win of the campaign. 

The Bengaluru Torpedoes, who lost their season opener to the Kolkata Thunderbolts, will be playing on their home turf again. They will be looking to take advantage of the home crowd support. Meanwhile, the Ahmedabad Defenders were undone by the Hyderabad Black Hawks in their first game. They will be keen to leave Bengaluru with a win before moving on to the next leg of the tournament.

Battle of the setters

A setter can be considered the orchestrator of the symphony on the volleyball court. Both teams boast some of the best setters in the league. This will be a crucial battle on the court and may prove to be the differentiator in a close encounter. 

Vinayak Rokhade, the seasoned setter for the Bengaluru Torpedoes, spoke about the importance of the role. He explained how the shortened format and the inclusion of the Super Serve have further increased its importance. “As a setter, you have to strategize on the court based on the flow of play and make decisions accordingly. It really depends on how everybody else is playing on a given night that a setter makes their calls on the court. You have to identify the weaknesses of the opposition as well and target those areas.”

Aswath Pandiyaraj, the second Setter for the Ahmedabad Defenders echoed the importance of the position. “A setter is the captain of the ship. Win or lose, most likely it can be attributed to the role of the Setter. I am fortunate that I get to train and play alongside one of the best setters in the country, our talented Captain, Muthusamy Appavu. He might seem quiet on the field, but his mind is always working and it is always great to see that.”

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Bouncing back from defeat

Now, hoping to get back to winning terms, Rokhade further introspected on the Torpedoes’ loss against the current Champions, Kolkata Thunderbolts, and said that his team is positive about getting back to winning ways. 

“It was a tough game, being the season opener for us and the inaugural day in front of our home fans. I think we were a little unfortunate with the result. A few things did not go our way. But the team definitely gave their 100%. We are staying positive and we hope for a better outcome against Ahmedabad.”

The Defenders, too, were unable to get a positive result in their first game, as they were outplayed by a young and dynamic Hyderabad Black Hawks side. But Aswath is confident that the team has grown over the last couple of days and have learned from their errors.

“We were able to identify our errors in the first game, we can now build our strategy based on that and get better results,” he said.

The Bengaluru crowd in full voice

The Torpedoes fans have turned out in large numbers to root for their team and Vinayak is grateful for their support. “It’s amazing for us to play in front of our fans. We will try hard not to disappoint them,” he said. 

But the cool and calm Ashwath is not worried about the crowd support the opposition will enjoy and said that the better team on the court will win the game. “Yes, they will have a lot of support. But credit must go to our fans who have also shown up to back us and encourage us. However, at the end of the day, the result is always decided on the court.” 

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