Prime Volleyball League 2023 - News


Kolkata Thunderbolts emerged as the inaugural champions of the RuPay Prime Volleyball League (PVL) powered by A23.

Owned by Kolkata Sports Ventures, the Thunderbolts started their PVL Season 1 campaign by beating Calicut Heroes 15-13, 12-15, 15-10, 12-15, 15-13 in a thrilling five-setter.

Under the tutelage of head coach Sunny Joseph, Kolkata Thunderbolts continued their dream start as they defeated Chennai Blitz (10-15, 15-11, 15-10, 15-12, 15-13) and Bengaluru Torpedoes (15-13, 15-8, 9-15, 15-12, 15-10) on consecutive days.

However, the Ashwal Rai-led Thunderbolts later lost to Hyderabad Black Hawks 8-15, 15-13, 9-15, 12-15, 15-8 in their fourth match of the tournament.

In their fifth encounter, the Thunderbolts once again succumbed to a 15-7, 10-15, 13-15, 14-15, 15-10 defeat against Ahmedabad Defenders.

Sunny Joseph’s men later bounced back to pip Kochi Blue Spikers 13-15, 15-11, 15-13, 15-8, 10-15 as they ended the league phase on a high.

With four wins and two losses, the Kolkata Thunderbolts finished second in the league phase with eight points to advance to the knockout stage.

In the semi-finals, Kolkata Thunderbolts thrashed Calicut Heroes 16-14, 15-10, 17-15 in straight sets to storm into the final. The Thunderbolts continued their emphatic form as they beat Ahmedabad Defenders 15-13, 15-10, 15-12 in the final to clinch the trophy in the first edition of RuPay Prime Volleyball League powered by A23.

For the Thunderbolts, Vinit Kumar was the standout player in Season 1. The 31-year-old was adjudged the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Season as he bagged a staggering 82 points, including 12 points in the summit clash to power the Thunderbolts to the title. He was also awarded the Player of the Match in the final.

Following their impressive performances in PVL Season 1, Kolkata Thunderbolts have retained their captain Ashwal Rai, setter Janshad U and MVP Vinit Kumar.

Meanwhile, the PVL Season 1 winners have roped in former Kochi Blue Spikers attacker Cody Caldwell and Venezuelan volleyball player José Verdi in the RuPay Prime Volleyball League Season 2 Player Auction.

The Indian contingent of Rahul K, Deepesh Sinha, Hariharan V, Anush, Hari Prasad B S, Suryansh Tomar and Abhilash Chaudhary have also been added to the Thunderbolts’ squad for the upcoming season.

The defending champions will aim to retain their title in RuPay Prime Volleyball League Season 2, starting on February 4.

Kolkata Thunderbolts squad for PVL Season 2

Jose Verdi (I), Cody Caldwell (I), Rahul K, Deepesh Sinha, Hariharan V, Anush, Hari Prasad B S, Suryansh Tomar, Abhilash Chaudhary, Ashwal Rai (R), Vinit Kumar (R), Janshad U (R)

I = International ; R = Retained