February 2, 2017 02:56 AM NPT
Aruna Shahi of Western region spikes as players of APF attempt to block during their semifinal match of the APF IGP Fourth National Open Women’s Volleyball Tournament in Halchowk, Kathmandu on Wednesday.
KATHMANDU, Feb 1: Defending champion Armed Police Force (APF) and New Diamond Academy are set to battle for the title of the APF IGP Fourth National Open Women's Volleyball Tournament on Thursday.
To make it to the fourth consecutive final, APF recorded a straight set wins of 25-14, 25-10, 25-12 over Western Region in the last four clash played at its home court in Halchowk on Wednesday.
Similarly, New Diamond defeated departmental side Nepal Police Club 25-19, 19-25, 25-16, 25-13 in the another semifinal played at the same venue. Police had reached to the final of the last edition before facing defeat to departmental rival APF.
Earlier in the match, New Diamond made a sound start winning the first set but Police came back into the contention in the second set as it registered 25-19 win. However, New Diamond then won remaining two sets by 25-16, 25-13 to kill the match in four sets.
Police, one of the traditional powerhouses in women's volleyball, has won more titles than any other teams in the country. But of late, it is struggling with its poor form despite the presence of national players in the squad. As a result, it hasn't been able to compete strongly with other giants of domestic volleyball-- New Diamond and APF. Police's blocker Kopila Upreti, libero Kamala Pun and Manisha Chaudhary are the regular members of the national team. It also has former captain of the national team Nita Shah alongside other ex-national players Chuda Khadka and Sushila Khadka in its squad.
After the match New Diamond's head coach Kumar Rai said that his team failed to win the match in straight sets due to carelessness in the second set. “My players were not up to par in defense in the second set and thus conceded many negative points to Police. However, we improved in the reaming sets and succeeded to pull the victory,” said head coach Rai.
He also said that his team met the target of securing place in the final. “Our primary target was to reach the final. The victory has boosted our confidence in our ultimate aim of lifting the winners' trophy,” Rai added.