Kerala to face Bengal in women''s volleyball final

Ranchi, Feb 16 (PTI) National champions Kerala defeatedKarnataka 25-15, 25-20, 25-8 to set up a summit clash againstBengal in the women''s volleyball competition of the 34thNational Games here today.

With six national players in their ranks, Kerala facedresistance only in the second set of the semifinal match whenKarnataka rallied from 4-12 to 12-12.

Kerala closed out the set with five straight points asnational player Terin Antony smashed two scorching points atKhelgaon.

Besides Antony, Kerala have Tiji Raju, Minimol Abraham,Ashwini S Kumar, P J Jomol and V Soumya, who were in the teamwhen they won the National Volleyball Championship last year.

"I am satisfied with my team''s performance. They playedvery well and I hope they will keep it up during tomorrow''sfinal," Kerala chief coach K Ashok said after the match.

For Karnataka, Mallika Shetty, H N Hemalata and captain JNishya scored points at crucial stages.

In the second semifinal, Bengal defeated Andhra Pradesh25-15, 25-21 and 26-24.

After comfortably winning the first set, Bengal girlsfaced a resurgent Andhra giving them a tough fight before thewinners overcame the resistance to bag the second set 25-21.

The third set went to the wire with the Andhra girlstwice leading at 18-17 and 19-17 before surrendering at 24-26.

For Bengal C S Ramya, Jhillilata Sena and Meenakshi Ghoshexcelled while AP''s M Mahalakshmi and J Maheswari played well,particularly coming up with better shots and smashes in thefinal set.

The final will be played tomorrow.

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