Nepal spikers go down to India in friendly opener

Kathmandu, July 28

Nepal national volleyball team lost the opening of the two-match friendly series against India here at the National Sports Council covered hall today.

The visitors registered a 3-0 victory in the first match organised by the Nepal Volleyball Association to inaugurate the mat provided by FIVB. India took a lead in the match with a 25-20 victory in the first set and the second one was much similar as the hosts lost it 25-19. Nepali spikers fought hard and went 24-22 ahead in the third set before losing it 27-25.

Nepal skipper Binita Budhathoki rued her decision of not give spike to Pratibha Mali in the final moments of third set. “As she was being targeted, I decided not to give her the spike. But it proved costly,” Binita said of Mali, who had won two points from 22-all in the third set. Mali top scored n the match with 26 points, while Aruna Shahi was a distant second with seven and Saraswati Chaudhary earned six.

Nepal coach Sudesh Kumar Rimal lauded his team’s overall performance. “This is our best performance against India on home soil. We played to our potential but lost the match as the opponents outplayed us in jumping and spiking,” said Rimal. “And we are also less experienced than the Indian players.”

India coach Vaishali Fadtare also praised Nepali players’ performance. “They have improved a lot compared to previous matches,” said Fadtare about Nepali players. “They lost it because of lack of experience and the team also had a poor defending and blocking,” Fadtare said.

The second and final match is slated for Friday. Earlier, National Sports Council Member Secretary Keshab Kumar Bista inaugurated the match.