KATHMANDU, June 30: Departmental giant Armed Police Force (APF) claimed the title of Yeti Flooring National Women's Volleyball Tournament for second time in a row on Wednesday with the heroics of Saraswati Chaudhary and Usha Bista.
APF humiliated Nepal Police Club in straight sets of 25-16, 25-20, 25-11 in the departmental derby at the National Sports Council covered hall in Tripureshwar. In the title clash of the first edition held last year, APF had recorded similar victory in straight sets over New Diamond Academy.
Saraswati, who contributed vital 10 points through her powerful spikes in the final, was also named the best player of the tournament and bagged a purse of Rs 15,000 for her feat. Saraswati, who is also in the national team, contributed four points through serve and one through block.
She will be visiting Japan a couple of weeks later for a month-long training at a Japanese training center to hone her skills. “Despite winning the final, we failed to play to our potential,” she said, adding that Police failed to keep up the momentum despite making solid start in the match.
“Our team is studded with talented players. But there were weaknesses in receiving and the spike was hampered by that,” she said.
Saraswati, who plays as a quicker from the national team has been assigned the duty of open spiker in the domestic tournament. She got ample support from Usha Bista, who contributed 12 points including six each from spike and block. Usha, who was named the best blocker of the tournament, also earned additional three points from serve.
Earlier in the semifinal, APF had recorded straight sets win over New Diamond Academy, which later settled for the third position. New Diamond edged past Western Region 25-14, 25-19, 23-25, 25-17 in the third place playoff.
The top three finishers of the tournament bagged purse of Rs100,000, Rs 60,000 and Rs 40,000 respectively along with trophies.
Prativa Mali of New Diamond was named the best spiker of the tournament while Nebica Chaudhary and Binita Budathoki of APF won the best server, and setter awards. APF's Sudesh Kumar Rimal was adjudged the best coach. Kamala Pun of Police was named the best defender.
Police spiker Parbati Aryal picked up knee injury while landing during the later stage of the second set. Parbati had contributed eight points before she left the court. Another spiker of Police, Kopila Upreti, also contributed eight points.
Police coach Rupesh Bista pointed out weak spikes as the reason for defeat. “APF is strong in all departments and it is important to come up with strong performance in all departments to beat them. We also do not have strong bench strength,” Bista said.
National Sports Council Member Secretary Keshav Kumar Bista, Nepal Volleyball Association President Manoranjan Sharma, Anil Kumar Kedia of Kedia Group, the chief sponsor of the tournament, among others distributed the prizes.
The tournament organized by Sher Bahadur Memorial Foundation featured six teams including Police, APF, Tribhuvan Army Club, Western Region and Jawalakhel Volleyball Training Center.