India clinch Challenge Cup title

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By A Staff Reporter,Kathmandu, May 29: India remained invincible to win the title of the NSC-CAVA Women’s Volleyball Challenge Cup held in Kathmandu on Sunday.

India eased past Kazakhstan 3-0 in a straight set to win the final held at NSC Covered Hall, Kathmandu.

The South Asian Volleyball powerhouse easily took the first set 25-15. Kazakhstan provided some resistance in the second ultimately losing it narrowly 22-25. The central Asian nation could not repeat its fight in the third set losing it by 18-25 and handing the title to India.

Champions India defeated Uzbekistan 3-0 while the runners-up Kazakhstan outdid host Nepal 3-1 to enter the final. 

Defending champions Nepal secured a third position by beating Uzbekistan 3-1. 

Nepal was punished for its complacency as Uzbekistan took it by 25-20. Host Nepal came back in the second set to comfortably clinch it by 25-16. 

Nepali players continued their dominance over the tourists to claim the third set 25-15 and the fourth set 25-13.

This is Nepal’s third win over Uzbekistan in the last three battles. Nepal defeated Uzbeks in the league round and final of the last edition of the Challenge Cup.

After ending the Challenge Cup journey in third place, Nepal's Head coach Jan De Brandt said the future of the Nepali team is bright. “This is the team mixed up of youth and experienced players. This team has made a good start. The players are technically sound. They need a good environment and training to do well in the upcoming Asian Games.”  

Nepal's captain Aruna Shahi said players have gained good experience by playing against the strong teams.

"It has been a great experience for us. It helped us to learn a lot, though we missed a chance to win the title at home court."

Captain Shahi praised the newcomers in the team for giving a tough fight to the powerful adversaries. "New players gave a good fight in their international debut. Senior players also played all-rounder roles. Overall there was an average performance from the team.”

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