Hosts Nepal, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and India registered their first wins in the Central Asian Volleyball Association (CAVA) Volleyball Women’s Challenge Cup at NSC Covered Hall in Kathmandu on Monday.
Eight teams are striving for their success in the tournament between May 22 to 28. India, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan and hosts Nepal are in Pool A, with Pool B featuring Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Kazakhstan.
Teams contest the pool round-robin preliminaries from May 22 to 24, with top two teams advancing to the cross semifinals. Lower-ranked sides finishing 3rd and 4th from each pool will be relegated to classification round for 5th-8th places.
Monday, the opening day of the tournament, proved a field day for stronger teams as all four matches ended in comfortable straight sets, with Uzbekistan pulling off sensational 27-25, 25-20, 25-14 victory against Sri Lanka.
Ezozakhon chipped in with 12 points for Uzbekistan, while Perera scored 16 points on Sri Lanka’s losing effort.
The following match became one-way traffic as India overwhelmed Bangladesh in easy encounter 25-3, 25-9, 25-6. Soorya and Anushree scored 15 points apiece for India, while Sabina led Bangladesh with 4 points.
After that, the opening ceremony was held, with Nepal Prime Minister Mr Pushpa Kamal Dahal presiding.
Minister of Youth and Sports Mr Dig Bahadur Limbu also attended the ceremony. All participating teams marched in and listened to welcome speeches from Prime Minister Mr Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Minster of Youth and Sports Mr Limbu. The organisers also impressed all spectators on site and distinguished guests with fantastic traditional dance and show.
The competition resumed with the curtain-raiser between the host side, consecutive two-time champions at the AVC Central Zone Championship in 2019 and 2021, and Kyrgyzstan which saw the former, cheered on by a large crowd at the venue, come up with powerful attacks and good teamwork to breeze past the latter 25-11, 25-19, 25-11.
Usha scored a match-high 20 points for hosts Nepal, while Kadyrova and Rasulbek Kyzy similarly scored 6 points for Kyrgyzstan.
In the day’s last match, Kazakhstan powered past Maldives in straight sets 25-16, 25-14, 25-6.
Bota scored a game-high 15 points and Ayaulym added 13 for Kazakhstan, while Hawwa Rashidha contributed 10 points for Maldives.
On Tuesday, India will take on Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka play Kazakhstan, hosts Nepal challenge Bangladesh and Maldives look for the first win in their match against Uzbekistan.
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