Members of New Diamond Academy pose for a photo with the winners’ trophy of the Fourth APF IGP National Open Women’s Volleyball Tournament in Kathmandu on Thursday.
KATHMANDU, Feb 2: Putting a break on host Armed Police Force (APF)'s domination in the APF IGP National Open Women's Volleyball Tournament, New Diamond Academy has lifted the winners' trophy in the fourth edition. In the final clash played at APF's court, Halchowk, New Diamond overcame the challenge of the home team 3-2 to dethrone the defending champion which had won titles in all previous three editions.
The mouth watering clash saw APF make a solid start winning the first set 25-15. But the host team failed to keep the momentum losing the following two sets. New Diamond fought for a 25-23 and 25-16 win in the second and third sets to make it 2-1 with just one set shy of victory.
APF, however, took the match to the fifth and decisive set after it recorded 25-16 win in the fourth set. New Diamond emerged strong in the final set with the score of 15-12 to take home the winners' trophy for the first time. Pratibha Mali of New Diamond was declared the woman-of-the-match.
After guiding the team to the trophy, New Diamond's head coach Kumar Rai praised his players' performances. “It was possible for us to win the match after Salina Shrestha and Sadikshya Ghimire came up with extraordinary performance,” said Rai. “Besides this, all players came up with confident show. We were successful in our strategy to stop their spikes and outplay their blocks. As always, Pratibha Mali took charge of spike and was at her best.”
Meanwhile APF's head coach Prakash Thapaliya said that poor defense and receiving of his team eventually cost the final. “My players were not defensively good and service was also below par. We also failed to succeed in the counter attack,” said Thapaliya.
Meanwhile, Western Region won the third place play-off defeating runner-up of the last edition Nepal Police Club 25-21, 25-21, 25-17. Manju Gurung of regional team was declared the woman-of-the-match.
Champion New Diamond bagged a purse of Rs 250,000 while the runner-up APF was rewarded with Rs 125,000. Western Region bagged Rs 50,000.
Meanwhile, New Diamond dominated the individual prizes as Pratibha was declared the best player of the tournament while Kripa Adhikari and Salina Shrestha were announced as best server and defender respectively. Best coach award went to Kumar Rai. Similarly, APF's Saraswati Chaudhary, Nebika Chaudhary and Binita Budhathoki were declared as best spiker, blocker and setter respectively. Pratibha was rewarded with Yamaha scooter while others were given Rs 5000 each.