D-9 of the female national team looking at at least ‘three wins’… Will ‘experience’ work?

 Last year, VNL, which was at a loss, is turning around for a year and conveying a new resolution. This time, it’s never an easy road. 

On the 22nd, the Korean women’s volleyball team headed to Turkey via Incheon International Airport. The first week of the 2023 International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) Volleyball Nations League (VNL) (5/30-6/4) will be held in Turkiye. 스포츠토토

The women’s volleyball team, led by coach Cesar Hernandez Gonzalez, gathered at the Jincheon National Training Center from April 24 to train in preparation for this VNL. However, coach Cesar joins his team, Turkiye Vakif Bank SK, from Turkiye because the league schedule is not over. Therefore, this national team training was conducted centering on coach Han Yu-mi and advisor Kim Yeon-kyung through Zoom video chat.

The Korean women’s volleyball national team, where veterans such as Kim Yeon-kyung, Yang Hyo-jin, and Kim Su-ji retired and went to the experimental table, accepted the heartbreaking result of a complete loss (3 sets out of 12 matches) in last year’s VNL. In the World Championships that followed, only one win was won against Croatia on the last day of five matches. 

The steps of the national team this time are not light. The reality is that there is no team that is ‘worthy’ to play against Korea any more on the international stage. 

Korea was placed in Group 1 with Turkey, Thailand, Italy, Poland, USA, Serbia and Canada in the first week. In week 2, they were tied with Brazil, Croatia, USA, Japan, Germany, Thailand and Serbia, and in week 3, they were matched with USA, Poland, Germany, Bulgaria, Serbia, Dominican Republic and China.

Thailand and Japan, which have similar physical conditions, have become role models for Korea to follow. Japan, which won 3-1 against third-ranked Brazil last year, is currently ranked 6th in the FIVB ranking (315.65 points). It is one step higher than the strong Turkiye. Miyu Nagaoka, Hayashi Kotona, Nishida (Koga) Sarina, Ishikawa Mayu, Shimamura Haruyo, and Seki Nanami were all listed. 

Thailand, to which IBK Industrial Bank setter Phonpun Gedpard belongs and Hyundai Engineering & Construction’s Wipawi Sitong, also pursues fast volleyball that matches the world trend, equipped with a speedy toss and a corresponding attack. The level is so high that it is difficult to say that it is one step ahead of Korea. As of the 23rd, Thailand is ranked 15th (207.47 points).

Both countries use decent back attacks, and Korea, which has been attempting a simple distribution strategy centered on outside heaters and apositive spikers, needs a new breakthrough.

The other day, Heungkuk Life Insurance coach Abondanza mentioned the participation of all strikers in the pipe. It is a picture that is necessary not only for a specific team in the V-League, but also for the Korean national team itself. Of course, it is difficult to install overnight, and this also requires sub-receive and blocking by default.

Realistically speaking, you can’t even predict which team will win how many sets. Croatia lost to Korea at the World Championships last year, but we cannot jump to the conclusion that they will give up points this time as well. However, field leaders commonly predict, “Since we already have experience, it will be better than last year.” 

Here, some players who were not on the roster last year are newly participating this time. A special position limited to the international stage was also formed. Outside hitter Moon Jeong-won (Korea Expressway Corporation), who showed decent defensive skills in the league, drew attention by being named as a libero in the national team roster. Kim Yeon-kyung, who had already retired, also wore the Taegeuk mark again and participated as an advisor, giving advice on the direction the national team should go. 

Coach Cesar, who visited Korea once last February, said, “The performance and level of our players were lacking on the international stage, and the setter’s quick volleyball is important.” “The Korean serve is one of the strongest teams in the world. I will go to a higher level only when I match it,” he said and gave a rough outline. 

I accepted the painful report card, made preparations that looked a little different from last year, and went through the cold barriers of the international stage without an ace. This time, the feeling is strong that the focus is on growth rather than grades. The situation is not so easy to the extent that national team coach Han Yu-mi also said, “My goal is to win about 3 wins, one win every week.” 

The women’s volleyball team, who left their homeland with half their concerns and half their expectations on their backs, will play their first VNL game at 2:00 a.m. Korean time on June 1st. The opponent is Turkiye, the host of the first week, and will struggle against a strong opponent from the start. 

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