At the first ever Khelo India School Games, under-17 boys from Delhi and West Bengal Girls bagged the volleyball gold medals in their respective sections. While the boys’ final was a nail biting affair, the West Bengal girls beat Maharashtra in straight games.
For the third position in the respective categories Kerala beat Uttarakhand for boys bronze and Gujarat beat Uttar Pradesh for Girls bronze.
Volleyball Gold medal match in Boys category was a worthy final
In the Boys final, Delhi grabbed an early lead and seemed to be cruising to a comfortable first game, before UP fought back to level scores at 24-24. Delhi’s tall and strapping Ashok and Sahil excelled and led Delhi to close the first game at 27-25.
The Uttar Pradesh boys determined not to surrender their early lead in the second game, were tamed by Kuldeep’s left handed spiking. He saw Delhi bounce back to take 14-9 lead. UP’s spearheads Sudhanshu Yadav and the tall Nitin were unable to counter Delhi’s all round game.
The right-left spiking of Ashok and Kuldeep proved decisive for Delhi who finally claimed the second set 25-15. At 2-0, Delhi looked all set for a comfortable win, before UP struck back.
The vocal support of the local school children and their fine all round play saw Delhi take charge in the third game too. They started with a six-point lead at 9-3 and continued to steadily accumulate points. The scores however kept see-sawing. The UP boys once again came back into the game at 17-17, and even took lead at 20-17. But once again Delhi fought back to level the game at 20-20.
But over the next few crucial points, the blockers from UP won them the game as they played excellently to claim the third game in 25-22.
The UP boys continued their successful defensive strategy to level the final with Delhi at two-games all by taking the fourth at 25-18.
With the match now into the decider, the Delhi boys were back at their attacking best in the fifth. They narrowly won the deciding set with 15-13 margin and with that the volleyball gold with a score line of 3-2.
Earlier in the day, the bronze medal match saw a two-hour struggle between Kerala and Uttarakhand. Kerala nervously got past Uttarakhand 3-2 to claim the Bronze.
West Bengal girls outplay Maharashtra to win the Volleyball gold
In the Girls final, West Bengal girls continued their winning spree at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium. The West Bengal girls, who had won the National School Games at Andhra Pradesh, last October, once again beat the same opponents Maharashtra.
The Maharashtra girls looked set for a long fight in the first game which saw a see-saw battle with no team getting more than a one point advantage. The Bengal girls led by outstanding performances by their captain Dilbangshi Tiwari, Tithi Dhara and Disha Ghosh won the first game in over extra point at 28-26.
But from the second game, the WB girls asserted their superiority to comfortably stay in the lead. They claimed the second game at 25-18 and added the third 25-10.
Four girls from the West Bengal under-17 team, who participated in the Khelo India School Games, will now be heading to Jaipur for Senior Nationals.
It was really high quality performance from the Bengal girls who jump serviced, smashed and defended equally well. The Maharashtra girls tended to defend well, but failed in other departments.
Before the volleyball gold medal match, the Gujarat girls claimed the Bronze with a 3-1 victory over UP. The Gujarat girls came back strongly after losing the first set to win the next 3 and claim the Bronze.
Volleyball Finals Match Results:
Boys: Finals: Delhi beat UP 3-2 (27-25, 25-15, 22-25, 18-25, 15-13)
Bronze medal: Kerala beat Uttarakhand 3-2 (23-25, 25-23, 25-20, 19-25, 17-15)
Girls: Final: West Bengal beat Maharashtra (28-26, 25-18, and 25-10)
Bronze medal: Gujarat beat UP 3-1 (19-25, 25-10, 25-17, and 25-23)