KATHMANDU, June 9: Armed Police Force (APF) defended the title of the KNP National Women's Volleyball Tournament defeating New Diamond Academy in the summit clash on Friday.
This is the departmental team's title win for the third straight year. APF beat the last edition's semifinalist New Diamond with the score-line of 25-22, 25-18, 18-25, 18-25, 15-8 in the final at the Dasharath Stadium's covered hall, Tripureshwar.
Champion APF received Rs 150,000 while runner-up was rewarded with Rs 100,000.
APF struggled in the third and fourth sets due to poor defense. New Diamond capitalized on APF's poor defense and clinched those two sets to keep alive its hope of winning the final clash. Though its main spiker Saraswati Chaudhary left the court due to injury in the last set, that didn't prevent the APF from winning the last set.
After the match, APF's Coach Gyanendra Bista said that other team members playing up to their mark was the reason behind the team's win despite its key player Saraswati getting injured.
Meanwhile APF's coach Bista lifted the trophy in his first stint with departmental team's women's team. Bista has been with APF since 15 years as a player and assistant coach.
He was assistant to the coaches like Kapil Kishor Shrestha and Sudesh Kumar Rimal in the past.
Meanwhile, national team members including Nebika Chaudhary, Reshma Bhandari and Saraswati Chaudhary perfectly fulfilled their duty for APF while New Diamond was moreover dependent on Pratibha Mali's performance. Pratibha accumulated 36 points for New Diamond but that was not enough for her team to seal the win.
After suffering defeat to its rival APF, New Diamond's Coach Kumar Rai said that his team repeated the mistakes. “After our blocker and all-rounder players couldn't play up to the mark in the last set, we lost the match despite making comeback in two sets,” said Coach Rai.
He also attributed the loss to the team's weak bench. “In future we will have to focus on producing blockers and all-rounders,” added Rai.
Meanwhile, APF's Saraswati Chaudhary was declared the best player of the tournament who received Rs 15,000 while New Diamond's Pratibha Mali and Kripa Adhikari were announced best spiker and setter respectively. Pratibha also was rewarded with Sher Bahadur Memorial Foundation special award. APF's Nebika Chaudhary and Usha Bista, Western Region's Punam Chand and New Diamond's Salina Shrestha were announced best server, best quicker, best blocker and best libero respectively. Players declared best received Rs 3,000 each while Pratibha also got additional Rs 10,000 special award.
Meanwhile in the third place play-off, Western Region overcame Nepal Police Club (NPC) 22-25, 25-18, 22-25, 26-24, 15-13 and was rewarded with Rs 50,000.