A valuable process yielded the best result.
Heungkuk Life Women’s Professional Volleyball won the home match against Pepper Savings Bank in the first round of the Dodram 2023-2024 V-League with a set score of 3-0 (25-19 26-24 29-27) at Samsan World Gymnasium in Incheon, South Korea on April 22.
The team trailed after 20 points in each of the second and third sets, but made a fearsome comeback. They came from behind in both sets to complete the shutout win.
The team has won three straight matches since opening the tournament. On the 14th, they won 3-0 against Gimcheon Korea Expressway Corporation and 3-2 against Suwon Hyundai Engineering & Construction on the 18th. They added three points to their home opener. They dethroned Hyundai E&C (7-2-1) and moved into first place (8-3).
Apogee spiker Yelena Mrazenovic (registered name Yelena) scored 23 points (42.22% attack percentage) with two blocks and two serves, while outside hitter Kim Yeon-kyung added 20 points (50% attack percentage) with one block.
Kim became the seventh player in women’s history to surpass 4,000 career points. Yelena became the 12th player in program history to reach 5,000 career points. Middle blocker Lee Ju-ah recorded eight kills (53.33% attack percentage) to become the 63rd player in history to surpass 1,000 kills. Middle blocker Kim Soo-ji, who clinched the match with two service aces in the second set, became the eighth player in history to complete 250 service aces.
“It’s good to win, and even better to win 3-0,” said Heungkuk Life head coach Marcello Abondanza after the match, “We were down by four or five points in the second and third sets. It’s a good sign that the players didn’t give up,” he smiled. “When the match was on fire, we were completely focused and delivered the result. I hope we can continue to do that in the future.”
At 23-24 and 25-24 in the second set, Kim served two service aces. It was a stroke of genius to extend the match to deuce and seal the win. Coach Abondanza said, “I substituted her because I thought she could serve well. She also has a good blocking height, which is why I brought her in,” said Abondanza.
Kim became a free agent after the end of last season and moved to IBK’s Heungkuk Life Insurance. She will be joined by Kim Yeon-kyung, who has been a close friend for a long time, graduating from elementary, middle, and high school together.
“It’s nice to have them playing on the same team, but a team is a team and two is two,” said Abondanza, adding, “The most important thing is to have two good players on the team.”굿모닝토토 도메인
The team rotates Lee Ju-ah, Kim Chae-yeon, and Kim Soo-ji at middle blocker. “My goal is to use the players on the roster evenly,” Abondanza said. Kim Na-hee is also training very hard, so I think she will be able to play sooner or later. I always try to find the players who are in the best shape and use them,” he said. “Even today (22nd), all the substitutes played a role and contributed a lot to the win. We will continue to do that.”
Do Soo-bin has been starting in place of veteran libero Kim Hae-ran, who is out with a knee injury. She recorded a 37.50 percent receiving efficiency and 24 digs. It was the most digs for either team.
Coach Abondanza said, “I’ve been playing with Do Soo-bin since the KOVO Cup in the off-season. She has improved a lot,” he said. “It’s not just her reception, but her defense as well. She reads the situation well,” he praised, noting that he “teaches her the whole game rather than specific parts.”