KATHMANDU, April 28: An Usha Bhandari-inspired performance helped the departmental team Nepal Police Club start the Fifth KNP National Women’s Volleyball Tournament with a 3-1 win over New Diamond Academy in Lagankhel on Saturday.
At Army Physical Training and Sports Center, Police had taken a two sets lead over New Diamond, and as it could not launch a comeback, it lost the game of Group B.
As Police kept New Diamond under pressure throughout the game, Bhandari was the standout player scoring the highest 18 points.
She garnered 16 points from spike, while got a point each from block and service.
Kopila Upreti of Police also got 15 points from spike and a point each from block and service to get her team to a winning start in the tournament.
New Diamond players look fatigued after playing two games in a single day. New Diamond’s Pratibha Mali scored 16 points, but could not prevent her team from losing.
Police won the first two sets 25-23, 25-17 respectively, while New Diamond got the game back on
track with a 25-16 third set win.
In a highly-competitive fourth set, Police won 25-22 to seal the game. Bhandari was named the player of the match.
Police has made its chance stronger to win the three-team group. Earlier on the day, New Diamond defeated Western Regional Volleyball Association on straight sets of 25-14, 25-22, 25-13 to start the campaign brightly.
In the win, Mali scored the highest 28 for New Diamond, while Aruna Shahi got eight for Western.
After the loss, New Diamond head coach Kumar Rai said that some of his players could not focus properly on the game as they are preparing for their board exams on Sunday.
In Group A, the other departmental team Tribhuvan Army Club saw off Jawalakhel Volleyball Training Center 25-6, 25-9, 25-7 with Manisha Khand becoming the player of the match.
Army will play its last game against the other departmental team Armed Police Force (APF) Club on
Sunday, while Western will face Police later on the same day in Group B.
The tournament is being played in league cum knockout format. The winner of the tournament will be rewarded with Rs 200,000, while the runner-up will be prized with Rs 100,000.
Also, the third-placed team will get Rs 50,000.
The best player of the tournament and the winner of the Sher Bahadur Khadka Special Award will get Rs 15,000 each, while the best spiker, the best setter, the best defender, the best kicker, the bester blocker, the best setter and the best coach will receive Rs 5,000 each.