Samtse Dzongkhag Sports Association (DSA) defeated Punakha DSA at the third national volleyball championship final in Changlingmithang, Thimphu yesterday.

Unlike the previous edition that played defending champions in the finals, the three-year-old championship featured two new teams from Samtse DSA and Punakha DSA in the finals this year.

The open-air volleyball stadium at Changlingmithang was occupied to the capacity in the final when Punakha DSA and Samtse DSA played the championship’s final for the first time.

The three-day national competition played eight teams from across the country including a team from defending champions, Paro DSA. However, the championship did not see the first titleholders, Tsirang DSA, participate this year.

In the final yesterday, Punakha DSA’s dominance in the early part of the first set met with a disappointment when the set ended in favor of Samtse DSA 29-30. The set was played for the longest time in the final.

Punakha DSA bounced back in the second set and outplayed Samtse DSA when it took over the set with a 25-17 win. The former continued its dominance in the third set and defeated the latter 25-13.

However, the gradual weakening in coordination and ability to compose the game from Punakha DSA saw Samtse DSA win the fourth set 27-25 to advance into the deciding set.

The deciding set played over 15 points saw Samtse DSA dominate the whole set. The set ended 15-10 in favor of Samtse DSA to win the third edition of the championship and bagged home the title for the first time.

Samtse DSA defeated defending champions Paro DSA 3-1 sets in the semi-final and Punakha DSA defeated Wangdue DSA 3-1 sets in the other semifinal.

The winners of the championship, Samtse DSA, won a cash prize of Nu 50,000 along with a winning trophy. The runners-up, Punakha DSA, also bagged a trophy and a cash prize of Nu 30,000.

The annual championship was organised by Bhutan Volleyball Federation and Bhutan Olympic Committee.

The championship allowed only the teams from established DSAs affiliated with Bhutan Olympic Committee.