Team wins bronze medal in the 2022 Asian Women’s Challenge Cup in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand
India finished third at the recently conclude AVC Challenge Cup 2022 held in Thailand.
Had India finished in the top two they would have qualified for the AVC Asia Cup 2024 but missed out by a very small margin. Nonetheless, the girls put up an excellent show losing the last two closely fought encounters.
India started their campaign in the 2022 Asian Women’s Challenge Cup with a straight set 3-0 win over Singapore. They followed it up with a similar margin victories over Uzbekistan and Malaysia in their next two encounters to remain unbeaten after the first three matches.
Indian Captain Nirmal was the top scorer with 15 points followed by Saranya and Soorya in the first match, while against Uzbekistan Soorya top-scored with 15 points with Nirmal at 14 points.
For three successive matches, India hadn’t dropped a set and looked favorites to hold onto the top two spots.
With everything going India’s way in the fourth match against Hong Kong, India was leading 2-0 and was just 1 set away from booking a spot for the AVC Asia Cup 2024.
But India for the first time India dropped a set in the entire tournament and eventually went on to lose the match 2-3.
Going into the final match India was set to take on the Thailand U20 team ( as Thailand was qualified for AVC Cup). Again India won the 1st set but went on to lose 2-3. This clearly showed India’s lack of experience.
In the last 2 encounters, India was in the advantageous position but couldn’t hold on to the lead.
Nirmal was one of the bright spots for the team scoring more than 60 points in the first four encounters with good support from Anushree, Soorya, and Saranya.
Overall India had a very good outing at the 1st edition of the AVC Challenge Cup. Going forward the team needs to be given more game time. With this performance, the Indian women’s team can definitely take more positives going forward.