KATHMANDU, Oct 18: Manju Gurung-led Western Region Volleyball Club edged past defending champion New Diamond Academy 3-2 on Friday to enter the final of the Second NVA Cup Volleyball Championship in the womenÂ´s section.
Despite New Diamond skipper Ramila Tandukar leading a heroic fightback, Western Region knocked out the holder 25-19, 25-23, 15-25, 16-25, 15-6 in the thrilling first semifinal played at the covered hall of the National Sports Council in Tripureshwar, Kathmandu.
The experienced players of Western Region, including the injured Aruna Shahi, claimed the first set easily but had to struggle against the relatively new faces of New Diamond in the second set.
However, Western Region lost the next two sets as Aruna could not play to her mark due to injury and it caused problems in their blocking, said the teamÂ´s coach, Kaushila Khatri.
â€œWe committed too many mistakes in receiving and defense from the beginning to the fourth set because Aruna was not performing to her level due to injury,â€ said coach Khatri.
However, Western Region bounced back from 3-5 to take the last set 15-6, scoring six straight points late in the game to knock the defending champion out of the competition.
â€œAs our opponent was quite good, I asked Aruna to play on without worrying about her injury because we had already won the first two sets,â€ said Khatri.
â€œWe reached the final after a long time,â€ said the teamÂ´s star player Sipora Gurung, who was benched during the semifinal.
After the victory, coach Khatri said they could win the title if they keep the momentum although they would face a tough opponent in the final.
Western Region will vie for the title with favorite Armed Police Force (APF), which beat departmental rival Nepal Police Club in the second semifinal.
Meanwhile, last editionÂ´s finalists Police and APF will vie for the title in the menÂ´s section on Saturday.
Defending champion Police beat departmental rival Tribhuvan Army Club in the second semifinal 26-24, 21-25, 25-17, 27-25 on Friday to set up a rematch of last editionÂ´s final.
APF thrashed Help Nepal Sports Club 25-17, 25-18, 25-22 in straight sets in the first semifinal earlier in the day.
Source : My Republica