ESSENDON beat surprise finalists Salad Bowl 2-0 duirng the Nadroga Volleyball Association knockout tournament on Saturday to stamp its mark early in the competition.
Games official Judy Kumar said Salad Bowl did well in the tournament even though it wascompeting in a tournament for the first time.
The side lost 21-25 and 21-26 in the knockout final.
"Salad Bowl from Navosa was happy with the result even though they lost to Essendon," Kumar said.
"They said they got good exposure and learnt some new skills because it was their first time to play volleyball in such a competition."
Salad Bowl beat Aces 2-0 (15-14, 15-9) while Essendon also overcame Aces but with a struggle to clinch victory with 2-1 score.
The Salad Bowl women's team also reached the final but lost 1-2 to Pixie Katz.
Kumar said only five open men's teams and three women's teams competed in the tournament.
"We are expecting more teams in round one of the weekly competition next Saturday at Lawaqa Park. We will close registrations next week so teams are welcome to join NVA.
"We are urging villages and businesshouses to come and support the association and the competition."
For the reacing the final, Essendon and Salad Bowl will meet again this weekend but it will be to decide who holds the Kumar Trophy for the challenge competition.
Meanwhile, the following players were selected to represent the respective teams:
Women: Adi Alisi Tabaiwalu, Dee Saumaki, Maggie Rebecca, Litia, Ilieseva Daini, Adi Ema Ralagi, Torika Vaka, Iliana Nadredre, Merelita Nakiyoyo, Sainimere, Kelera.
Open Men: Nadroga White Asesela Botei, Urai Waqatabu, John Saumaki, Sepesa Lewaniqila, Peniasi Kurivitu, Iliesa Tuilakeba, Ameniasi Namere.
Nadroga Black Nemani Naitoni, Isei Votuqe, Navitalai Bakewa, Sireli, Semesa Sacere, Etika Cokanasiga, Semi Roqica, Rusiate Nasova, Mosese Tui, Waisake Kunanitu , Peceli Ato, Luke Navula, Niko Vila, Peceli Nacoqe.