Nepal national women's volleyball team defended the title of the AVC Central Zone Volleyball Championship in Mirpur, Bangladesh today.

Nepal defeated Uzbekistan 3-2 in the final match at the Shaheed Sohrawardi Indoor Stadium to win their second straight gold medal.

The Nepali women's team had bagged the maiden international gold medal with a 3-0 victory over Maldives in the previous edition, also in Bangladesh in 2019.

In thrilling final match of the second edition of the event, Nepal took lead with a 26-24 victory in the first set before Uzbekistan levelled the scores by winning the set with the same scoreline.

Nepal took the third set 25-15 to restore the lead and Uzbekistan made it 2-2 with a 25-22 win in the fourth.

The defending champions then sealed the victory with a 15-10 win in the final set.

Nepal repeated the history but this time they dropped five sets, unlike the previous edition when they did not face a single set defeat.

On their way to defending the title, Nepal came from two sets down to beat Sri Lanka 3-2 in the opening match, while they dropped a set against Uzbekistan in the league round. They recorded 3-0 victories against three other opponents - Bangladesh, Maldives and Kyrgyzstan - in the league stage.

Skipper Aruna Shahi and her teammates were able to write their names in history books with back-to-back titles, while three players - Shanti Tharu, Kamana Bista and Laxmi Chand earned national team caps from the tournament. Shahi was later adjudged the best setter of the tournament, while Salina Shrestha was named the best libero.

While the women's team created history, the men's team returned empty handed from the tournament.

Nepal faced a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Uzbekistan in the third-place playoff match. Nepal, who had defeated Uzbekistan in league round, failed to repeat the performance and went down 25-15, 25-17, 25-22 in bronze medal match. Sri Lanka bagged men's section gold with a 3-0 victory over Bangladesh. Sri Lanka won women's section bronze after they recorded a straightset victory over Kyrgyzstan.

A version of this article appears in the print on December 29, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.