KATHMANDU, Jan 17: Departmental team Armed Police Force (APF) earned twin victories in the second round of the Dhorpatan Double League Women's Volleyball Tournament that began on Tuesday in the capital.
APF registered straight sets win over Western Region and Nepal Police Club respectively to be level on points with leader Reed Model. Both APF and Reed Model have 30 points but the latter holds one-match advantage over APF which played has played 11 matches.
Reed Model, however, leads the table on the basis of wins in fewer sets than its closest opponent. APF is the champion of the last four editions of the tournament and has faced tough challenge from Reed Model, studded with seven Indian players.
APF overcame Western Region 25-15, 25-15, 25-14 in its first match of the second round of the tournament and later the departmental team overcame its arch rival Police 25-17, 25-17, 25-12. Similarly, Reed Model overcame Tribhuvan Army Club 25-9, 25-9, 25-8 to maintain its cent percent winning streak.
Following double victory of the day, APF spiker Saraswati Chaudhary shared that they were back in the title race. “Reed Model is the main hurdle in our title ambition. In the past, New Diamond used to be the tough opponent for us and we have already defeated it in the first leg. We were under tremendous pressure after going down to Reed Model in the first leg, but the straight set win over Police has instilled confidence in us,” said Saraswati who had returned after a month-long volleyball training from Japan a couple of months ago.
APF is studded with five Nepali internationals including Saraswati. However, Reed Model consisting of three former Indian national players, had overcome the departmental giant 3-1 in the first leg.
Saraswati also said that her side was pressure free for the second leg match. “We were not much informed about Reed Model in our first meeting. But now we know a lot about their playing style. They are strong in defense and block. We must put more pressure from spikes and block them for a winning result in the next leg,” she said. “We still have an opportunity to avenge the defeat.”
In other matches of the day, last edition's runner-up New Diamond Academy overcame host Dhorpatan Sports Club 25-11, 25-10, 25-11. New Diamond, also the four-time runner-up stands third and faced first round defeat at the hands of Reed Model and APF.
In another match of the day, Army overcame Dhorpatan Sports Club 25-9, 12-25, 25-12, 25-16.