July 30, 2016 01:50 AM NPT
Players in action during a friendly vollyball match between Nepal and India held at NSC’s covered hall on Friday. Pratik Rayamajhi/Republica
KATHMANDU, July 30: Nepal women's volleyball team signed off a two-match friendly series against India with a second defeat in a row. India registered straight sets victory of 26-24, 25-20 and 25-19 over the host team on Friday in the second friendly played at the covered hall of National Sports Council.
Nepal's coach Sudesh Rimal said that the team made similar mistakes as in the first match and failed to amend them on Friday as well. In the first match played on Thursday, Nepal had faced 25-20, 25-19, 27-25 defeat against the same opponent.
Speaking at the post-match conference, Rimal said, “Our target was to amend the mistakes we made yesterday. But we failed to achieve our target due to poor defense.”
Nepal was very close to winning in the first set. At one point, Nepal was leading India 24-23, but it failed to earn the match point and eventually lost 26-24 as India collected three straight points.
Similarly, the home team lost the second and third sets by 25-19 and 25-20 respectively.
Coach Rimal pointed out that his team failed to play as per their match plan in the second and third sets, resulting in the larger-margin defeat. “Our players played the first set according to the plan but the second and third sets didn't go according to the instructions."
Pratibha Mali was once again the star among the Nepali players. She scored 21 points including 19 from spikes. Saraswati Chuadhary and Usha Bista were second and third highest scorers with eight and seven points respectively.
Coach Rimal again expressed his displeasure over his blockers. "Our blockers were below par and I didn't have option on the bench as well."
Rimal informed that he is soon submitting his report about women's volleyball to the National Sports Council and Nepal Volleyball Association. He will include his suggestions for the improvement of women's volleyball.
"At least 4-month training for the national team, wide pool selection and scouting for physically strong players will be some of my suggestions," said Rimal.
However, Rimal seemed happy over the performance of his girls in two matches which is taken as a preparation for the upcoming South Asian Games. "We can do better in SAG with proper training and more practice matches with good team," he added.
Indian coach Bhaishali Bhadtare seemed elated after the match. "Beating a team like Nepal in international match is a proud moment for us. They always throw tough competition at us in SAG. So beating them at their home court is very positive result for my girls," she said.
Praising Nepali team, she said, "Nepal has very good talents and they can do really well with appropriate exposure and enough practice matches.”
She also suggested Nepal to search taller and physically stronger players.
She promised to come again to play friendly matches if invited by Nepal.