The volleyball meet kick-started this morning with the Women’s teams competing with each other in four league matches. The event was witnessed by the DOAA, Prof. Neeraj Mishra, himself a former Inter-IIT volleyball player.
Smashing Ropar, the Kanpur team displayed some crisp lifts, drops and services. Both the teams mainly lost points owing to faulty services. However, the team captain, Tanvi, and former captains, Anisha and Sharda did some pretty amazing serves. The entry of Anisha in the third set made it a one woman’s show, giving Kanpur a major upper hand, with the set seeing a shift from the initial scores of 25-11 and 25-14, to 25-6.
The evening witnessed a thrilling match between Kanpur and Madras men’s teams where Kanpur settled its score against Madras by winning the match by 3-0 as Kanpur had lost the last match they had played in Inter IIT ’14 against Madras.
Although Kanpur easily managed to win the first and the last set but in the second set, Madras offered tough competition. However, Kanpur made an exciting comeback and changed the score from 21-16 to 21-25. Former captain, Sandy once again came up as a legendary player by earning crucial points for the team.
Kanpur began with a decent showing in the track and field events held in the morning session. In the 100m heats, both the participants, Deepak Jorwal and Mohit Yadav qualified comfortably for the semifinals held later in the day, where both finished third clocking 11.5 seconds and 11.6 seconds respectively. The women’s team did not share their success as both the participants in the 100m heats failed to qualify, coming in 4th and missing the chance to play the semi-finals.
In the men’s 800m race, Jaswinder ran in a league of his own (forgive the pun) and emerged as the clear winner in his heats, leading by a margin of 7 seconds. Deepak Meena also qualified for the finals to be held on 15th.
In short-put, Kanpur’s Shivam missed a podium finish as he stood 4th. But Sachin Salim secured the third position for Kanpur in the Triple Jump event held in the evening.
The journey to the finals began today for Kanpur, with the first opponent being a strong Roorkee side. The first thirty minutes were a complete stalemate with no clear cut chances for either side. The nerves were evident as shown by an early booking right in the 10th minute for Rohit Meena of Roorkee.
But then Roorkee started to get into their groove with some fast, free flowing football led by the trio of Collins, Benjamin and Gebaheyu who caused a lot of problems with their tenacity to win the ball back. Roorkee continued bossing the game, as Kanpur was not even able to get into Roorkee’s half due to some great pressing.
Then came the saddest moment of the day when Kanpur’s Manish and Roorkee’s Vedansha collided leading to Vedansha being seriously hurt and being taken off on the stretcher although thankfully, Manish was back on his feet after the match with some heavy bandaging on his head.
After the play resumed, Roorkee continued to dominate the match with Collins and Gebaheyu combining really well to cause a lot of problems to Kanpur on the right wing. But it all ended with a 0-0 scoreline.
Home team Kanpur gave us something to cheer about with a dominant performance over a rather drab and lethargic BHU squad early on in the day. First up, top seeds Nikhil Sharma from Kanpur and Shubham from BHU squared off against each other and apart from a little stumble in the third set, Nikhil cruised to a comfortable victory.
Mehul Singh outclassed Prakhar from BHU in straight sets to claim the second victory for Kanpur and Abhimanyu Yadav finished off the opposing team in the third match. Kanpur played a clinical game, not giving away too many points while forcing the other team to commit unforced errors after engaging them in long rallies.
Ashutosh Singh, Kanpur’s team coach was visibly pleased and a touch too ebullient after the win and in a candid chat with Vox, went on to say that this was one of the best Kanpur TT teams thus far and he was confident of a good performance this year all the while emphasizing that other teams are no pushovers. He also lauded Nikhil’s and Mehul’s performance and was optimistic about their run in the Inter IIT.
The women’s team started their campaign today with the first match against Kharagpur. Chinta Hari Chandana won the first set 6-2 against Shambhavi from the opposing team. The next set was initially dominated by Shambhavi who took it down to 5-1, taking advantage of the repeated double faults committed by Chandana. Although Chandana initially struggled in converting her service games to points, she scored 6 back to back points from this stage and snatched away the set 7-5.
The doubles match also went through interesting twists and turns. In the first set, Chandana and Deepika seemed to easily overpower Shambhavi and Bhumika from the opponent team, thrashing them 6-1. But the next set came as a surprise as the opponents made a commendable comeback winning it 6-1. In the tiebreaker that followed, Kanpur restricted KGP to 6-0 initially, after which although KGP went on to score 5 points they couldn’t stop the match from going in Kanpur’s hands
Kanpur took on Gandhinagar for the men’s singles. Sagar Batra represented Kanpur in the inaugural match. Sagar held his nerves and won the points when it mattered the most. He won the first set 6-3. In the second set Sagar came back much stronger. He broke Aditya’s serve thrice to win the second set 6-0.
Sagar continued his winning momentum in the doubles match in which he paired with Ankush Singh. Sagar Batra impressed the audience with his volley winners. The Kanpur duo hit a staggering 14 winners in the second set. They even recorded the lone ace in the second set. They emerged victorious 6-1, 6-1.
The first match for men’s badminton trophy was played between Kanpur and Roorkee in which Kanpur defeated Roorkee 3-1. The first match broke the heart of Kanpur fans as Rohit Chauhan lost 0-2 in straight sets. After that Kanpur won one match after the other giving Roorkee no chance of comeback. The second match was won by Gopichand Kotana of IIT Kanpur 2-0 in a hard fought match with Mayank Sharma of Roorkee. The third match was a doubles match where home team had another easy win in straight sets. The most exciting match of the day was the singles match between Abhinav of Kanpur and Himanshu of Roorkee. Abhinav won the first set and then Himanshu levelled the score by winning the next set 21-16. The decider set was a real thriller where Abhinav who was leading 20-17 gave away 3 consecutive points at a very crucial point but after this Abhinav won the next two points to claim the set and the match for himself and Kanpur.
Women’s team continued the winning streak for Kanpur, comfortably defeating Hyderabad. They were in no trouble at any point of time and won the first singles match 21-3, 21-5 and the doubles 21-0, 21-7. As a result they dominated Hyderabad 2-0.
The match between Kanpur and BHU was a walk in the park for the home team. The Kanpur team routed BHU 3-0 with all the matches lasting a mere 70 minutes. Kanpur players had the upper hand from the word go with Tizil Saini beating his opponent by 11-3, 11-2, 11-0. Following him, the other two team members, Vivek and Manraj won their sets 11-1, 11-7, 11-0 and 11-1, 11-2, 11-4 respectively. After such a mesmerizing performance by the Kanpur team, they will surely be arriving with loads of confidence in their match against Madras tomorrow.
Madras won the toss and chose to bat first. They played well for the first 10 overs scoring at a steady pace, reaching 57/2. But unfortunately, they suffered a regular fall of wickets after that and lost the plot completely in the last five. The Kanpur bowling attack put up an inspired performance with Vaibhav Pandey taking one, and Vikrant and Nikhil taking two wickets each. But Nitin Sharma stole the show scalping three batsmen. Kanpur had a shaky start losing a wicket in the first ball. A regular fall of wickets ensued but Nicku Nitish held steady at one end. The next shock was two consecutive run outs and in 10 overs they reached 55/4, finally Amit Meena guided Kanpur to victory.
The boy’s home team kick started their Inter IIT campaign with a comfortable 74-55 victory over IIT Guwahati. An early basket each by homeboy Naman and Aditya from the Guwahati team set the momentum of the game. Sudhanshu Tandon of Kanpur gave a scare to the opposition early on with his lightning speed, swift passes and some very close misses at the basket. As the momentum of the game picked up, the crowd started pouring in in large numbers. A 3-pointer by Tandon and 3 quick baskets by Vikash helped Kanpur close the first quarter at 18-5. Aditya was the only opposition player to beat the Kanpur defence and score in the opening quarter.
The second quarter was a closely contested affair with Guwahati picking up pace. Of the 17 points scored by Guwahati in this quarter, 13 were by Aditya who single handedly kept his team afloat and 4 by Tarun. On top of this, they restricted the host team to 16 points despite all free throws being converted to goals and some near perfect lay-ups by homeboy Aditya Parmar. At the end of the second quarter, the scoreboard read 34-22.
The third quarter was dominated by Kanpur again with Shivam Chaubey clinching 11 out of the total 23 points scored by Kanpur. A miraculously long pass by Chaubey followed by a quick goal by teammate Mohit set the Kanpur crowd roaring and left the opposition dazed. The only 3-pointer in this quarter was scored by Guwahati boy Rishi. Tarun helped Guwahati score a respectable 16 points in this quarter by converting 5 of his free throws to baskets. The quarter ended 57-38 in Kanpur’s favour.
The last quarter saw neck and neck competition between the 2 teams with both scoring 17 points. Kanpur boys Aditya and Sachin successfully converted 2 foul shots each and Sudhanshu scored his second 3-point shot of the match.
Finally, Kanpur clinched the match 74-55.