Hosts from Nepal, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and India claimed their first victories in the Central Asian Volleyball Association (CAVA) Volleyball Women’s Challenge Cup at the NSC Covered Hall in Kathmandu on Monday.
Eight teams compete for success in the tournament, which runs from May 22 to May 28. India, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan and hosts Nepal are in Group A, while Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Kazakhstan are in Group B.
Teams compete in group qualifiers from May 22 to 24, with the top two teams advancing to the crossover semi-finals. The lower ranked teams finishing 3rd and 4th in each pool will be relegated to the placement round for places 5-8.
Monday, the opening day of the tournament, proved to be a field day for the stronger teams as all four matches ended in comfortable sets as Uzbekistan took a sensational 27-25, 25-20, 25-14 victory over Sri Lanka.
Ezozakhon scored 12 points for Uzbekistan while Perera scored 16 after Sri Lanka lost.
The next match became a one-way move as India defeated Bangladesh in an easy contest 25-3, 25-9, 25-6. Soorya and Anushree each scored 15 points for India while Sabina led Bangladesh with 4 points.
This was followed by the opening ceremony presided over by the Prime Minister of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Dig Bahadur Limbu also attended the ceremony. All participating teams marched in and listened to welcome speeches Prime Minister Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Minister of Youth and Sports Mr. Limbu. The organizers also delighted all the spectators present and distinguished guests with a fantastic traditional dance and show.
The rivalry resumed with the curtain-raising between the hosts, the next two-time AVC Central Zone Championship champions in 2019 and 2021, and Kyrgyzstan, where the former, cheered by the large crowd at the venue, put forward powerful attacks and good teamwork to defeat these last 25-11, 25-19, 25-11.
Usha scored a record 20 points for hosts Nepal while Kadyrova and Rasulbek Kyzy similarly scored 6 points for Kyrgyzstan.
In the final match of the day, Kazakhstan defeated the Maldives in straight sets 25-16, 25-14, 25-6.
Bota scored 15 points, Ayaulym added 13 for Kazakhstan and Hawwa Rashidha scored 10 for the Maldives.
On Tuesday, India will face Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka will play Kazakhstan, hosts Nepal will face Bangladesh and the Maldives will be battling for their first win against Uzbekistan.
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