The 2014 batch of Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management (IIT-Bombay) had started to create waves in volleyball. Equipped with a team full of players with prior experience of playing at various levels this team was definitely destined for greatness in the field of volleyball. Just few days back this team had literally demolished its way through all the teams to win a competition at K.J Somaiya College and expectedly the morale and confidence of the team was sky high. With this victory in hand the team entered the PG volleyball competition at IITB. But it would be a mistake to undermine any opponent at IITB as IIT boasts of around 16 Post Graduate departments and hence the competition was equally tough if not tougher.
The initial rounds were relatively easy as SJMSOM was pitted against teams that were relatively weak and hence the team sleepwalked through two rounds securing straight set wins in both the rounds.
As is true in any tournament as the tournament proceeds into later stages the competition gets tougher. Up next in quarter finals was the Civil Engineering department which boasted of inter–IIT players in their ranks, to make matters worse two of our main players could not make it due to prior commitments, which made the task even more difficult. But true character is tested in adversity and facing a set down and trailing in the second set in a best of three sets match the crowd started getting behind SOM rallying them on to produce a comeback . Spurred on by the spectators SOM did come back by winning the second set by a close margin and went on to win the third set at a canter as the morale of the opposing team was down by that time.
Semi-finals followed a similar story as our team was down by two sets and in best of five sets but again crowd support and some dogged spirit of the players took it to the decider set. The decider was a topsy turvy set with leads being exchanged until Aerospace engineering our semifinal opponents gained match point. A moment of individual brilliance saved match point which demoralised the opponents and we served our way to the finals.
The final was a hugely anticipated event with whole of our batch turning out to support the team. Up against the invincible computer science department we were the underdogs. True to the spirit they turned out to be a much better team and won the finals but not without facing true fight from our team.
The team bonding and spirit is sure to take this team leaps forward and I expect it to conquer many more tournaments in the future. As it has been truly said, "A good team can win a game when they are ahead, a great team can win even when they are behind."
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