Despite dropping the championship series in straight sets last season, Heungkuk Life was still the “No. 1 favorite” to win the women’s professional volleyball title.

At the 2023-2024 V-League Women’s Division media day held at the Cheongdam Rivera Hotel in Gangnam-gu, Seoul on Wednesday, the team was named the “favorite to win the championship” by five of the seven teams.

Only Heungkuk Life and GS Caltex did not name Heungkuk Life when asked to name the two teams they think they will meet in the championship besides their own team.

Since Heungkuk Life was unable to name its own team, it actually received five out of six votes.

Head coach Go Hee-jin said, “Heungkuk has a good composition of players,” while Kim Ho-cheol of IBK said, “They have a cohesive team and Kim Soo-ji is perfect.”

Pro volleyball V-League women’s coaches say ‘trophy is in anyone’s hands’

Even coach Marcello Abondanza (Heungkuk Life) said, “It’s natural that we have a small team. We have good players, so we will show good form until the end.”

Heungkuk Life was able to re-sign Kim Yeon-kyung, who is the biggest part of their offense, and brought in Kim’s best friend and former national middle blocker Kim Soo-ji.

Korea Express, who won the championship last season with a dramatic three-game “reverse sweep” after losing two games to Heungkuk Life in the championship match, received three votes.

The team lost outside hitter Park Jung-ah to Pepper Savings Bank and middle blocker Jung Dae-young to GS Caltex in the free agency market.

Coach Kim Jong-min said, “Our strength has been weakened a lot, and we have to be wary of all teams rather than wary of anyone in particular. I think it will be tough in the beginning.”

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Hyundai E&C head coach Kang Sung-hyung, who hasn’t received a single vote after experiencing ‘spring volleyball’ consistently recently, wrote down Heungkuk Life and Roadworks and said, “Our team has also reinforced the weak side. We will try to challenge once with good teamwork.”

GS Caltex head coach Cha Sang-hyun was the only one who didn’t expect Heungkuk Life to go straight to the championship, picking IBK and Jungkwanjang.

Cha looked at Ko, who was sitting next to him, and said, “I wrote the articles of incorporation to make Ko Hee-jin feel better. IBK has a good roster and a world-class setter.”

After finishing sixth last season, IBK earned the No. 1 pick in both the foreign and Asian quarters.

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For foreign players, the team brought in left-handed opposite spiker Brittany Abercrombie (registered name Abercrombie) and setter Ponpoon Gedpard (registered name Ponpoon), who is the starting setter for the Thai national team.토토사이트

IBK has emerged as a “dark horse” this season, with two clubs picked to make the championship.

Pepper Savings Bank, which has finished in last place for two years in a row since its inception, also received one vote.

Pepper Savings Bank hired head coach Joe Trinzi and brought in Park Jung-ah, Chae Sun-ah, and Lee Ig-eun.

Park Jung-ah wrote down the team as ‘the team that benefited the most from player transfers’ and expressed confidence, saying, “Not only me, but many players came and wrote it down.”

The Women’s V League will kick off its six-month campaign on Thursday with a matchup between Korea Expressway Corporation and Heungkuk Life.

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