Nepal’s invincible ladies lift historic volleyball trophyNepal thrashed the Maldives in straight sets to win Central Zone Senior Women's Volleyball tournament in Bangladesh.
Nepal created history on Thursday as they claimed the Asian Volleyball Confederation Central Zone Senior Women's Volleyball tournament—their first major international title. In the final held at Shaheed Suhrawardy Indoor Stadium in Mirpur, Bangladesh, Nepal overpowered the Maldives 25-13, 25-12, 25-8.
After a slow start early on, Nepal in the opening set hardly faced much resistance from the Maldives in the summit clash.
Nepal overturned a 4-7 deficit, winning 12 points in succession to open up a 16-7 lead before sealing the set with a 12 point margin.
Led by captain Aruna Shahi for the first time, Nepal, featuring many young players, displayed top-class performance throughout the tournament. They remained unbeaten throughout the campaign, brushing aside the challenges from their opposition without dropping a set. They had beaten the Maldives in straight sets in the group stage fixture as well.
Nepal's Pratibha Mali, who was impressive throughout the campaign, was adjudged the best spiker of the tournament. Medina Kirlan of Kyrgyzstan was declared the best setter while Bangladesh’s Bithi bagged the best blocker award.
Prior to this, Nepal had won the bronze medal in women’s volleyball at the 8th South Asian Games held at home in 1999. It was their maiden participation at an international tournament. They later added two more medals, finishing third at the 10th South Asian Games in Sri Lanka in 2006 and the 12th SAG in India in 2016.
The success at the eve of the 13th South Asian Games, which Nepal is staging from December 1 to 10, has come as a major boost to the confidence of Nepali women spikers.
Kyrgyzstan finished third in the tournament with a 25-13, 25-14, 25-12 victory over hosts Bangladesh. The tournament played in the round-robin format featured five nations, with the top two sides making it to the final.