Women's defending champion Kerala, runner-up Haryana, third place winner West Bengal and last year's semifinalist Himachal Pradesh cruised to easy opening group league victories on the first day of the 14th National youth volleyball championship here on Tuesday.
Host West Bengal men won against Andhra Pradesh 3-0 to begin the campaign on a bright note. Three players, one each from Maharashtra, Puducherry and Delhi, were debarred from taking part in the tournament owing to age related issues.
The National meet is being held in mud courts of the West Bengal Volleyball Association, SAI, Eastern Centre and Salt Lake Stadium and not at the international standard Netaji indoor stadium. The secretary of the WBVA, Rathin Roy Choudhury, said the State government had hiked the rent of the Stadium so much that it was not possible for games like volleyball to be played there.
It was most unfortunate that the future Indian players of this under-21 meet were denied the facility of playing indoors.
The results: Men: Haryana bt Pondicherry 22-25, 25-15, 25-16, 25-19; Karnataka bt Uttarakhand 25-11, 25-16, 25-11; MP bt Bihar 25-22, 25-14, 25-21; Maharashtra bt Jammu & Kashmir 25-08, 25-16, 25-16; Kerala w/o Manipur HP bt Gujarat 19-25, 25-20, 25-17, 28-26; Delhi bt Tripura 25-6, 25-11, 25-19; Rajasthan bt Jharkhand 25-7, 25-18, 25-08; West Bengal bt AP 25-22, 25-22, 25-9.
Women: HP bt Gujarat 25-8, 25-12, 25-10; Tamil Nadu bt Maharashtra 25-10, 25-14, 25-17; Kerala bt Odisha 25-9, 25-18, 25-16; UP bt Chhattisgarh 25-16, 27-25, 25-20; Haryana bt Jharkhand 25-14, 25-19, 13-25, 25-13; Rajasthan bt Andhra Pradesh 25-14, 18-25, 25-14, 25-10; WB bt Bihar 25-10, 25-9, 25-11.
Keywords: National youth volleyball