Heungkuk Life won its final match of the first round thanks to a strong performance from its key players.
Heungkuk Life, led by head coach Marcello Abondanza, earned three points in the first round of the Dodram 2023-2024 V-League Women’s Division with a 3-1 (26-24 25-15 25-19 28-26) set victory over IBK at Samsan World Gymnasium in Incheon on Thursday.
With the win, Heungkuk Life ended the first round with a 5-1 record (15 points), tied with leader Soosung. On the other hand, IBK, which failed in its bid for a third straight win, is now 2-4 (5 points).
Yelena Mrazenovic (real name Yelena) led the team in scoring with 19 points, while Kim Yeon-kyung and Kim Mi-yeon also lived up to the team’s expectations with 17 and 11 points, respectively. IBK, on the other hand, was unable to capitalize on Pyo Seung-ju’s 20 points.
Starting lineups and pregame comments from both teams
Shinhan: middle blocker Kim Na-hee, opposite spiker Yelena, outside hitter Kim Mi-yeon, middle blocker Kim Soo-ji, outside hitter Kim Yeon-kyung, setter Lee Won-jung, libero Do Su-bin.
IBK: Setter Ponfun Gedfard (registered name Ponfun) – Outside hitter Hwang Min-kyung – Middle blocker Lim Hye-rim – Apogee spiker Brittany Abercrombie (registered name Abercrombie) – Outside hitter Pyo Seung-ju – Middle blocker Choi Jung-min, libero Shin Yeon-kyung
Heungkuk Life came out with the same starting lineup as in their previous match against GS Caltex on March 31. On the other hand, IBK started Lim Hye-rim at middle blocker instead of Kim Hyun-jung.
IBK head coach Kim Ho-cheol said, “She’s back after a dislocation, so fortunately the bone is fine and the swelling isn’t too bad. I think she’ll be fine after two or three days of rest. “I think (Lim) Hye-rim and (Kim) Hee-jin will have to play in rotation. I told Hee-jin to be ready, and I think I’ll have to see (the situation) in the middle and put her in.”
“Hee-jin (Kim) has to adapt. Last year, she played as an outside hitter, but now she’s coming in as a middle blocker, so it’s going to be awkward. She’ll have to get used to it. When I saw her move, she wasn’t 100 percent, but I think she can do it, so I’m going to give her a try.”
“We’ve only played five games, but I wouldn’t be surprised if anything happens,” said Abondanza, who is wary of the other teams in the final match of the first round, adding, “I hope the injured players come back, and after the second round, we’ll have to work on our blocking and receiving a little more.”
He also mentioned Reina Tokoku, who played middle blocker in the last match. “I think she definitely showed in the last game that she’s a good option, and she played an important role,” Abondanza said. Thank you for sacrificing for the team.”
“We need (Hwang) Min-kyung, who is the core of the team, to recover quickly, but it’s a relief for the team that she’s feeling better,” said Kim Ho-cheol. “The center is the weakest part of the team, and if (Kim) Hee-jin returns in the next round, that will be filled. If that happens, the team will be stable and it will be easier for Ponpun Gedpard (registered name Ponpun) or (Kim) Ha-kyung to take the toss, and the team will be able to play in a more stable state,” he said after the first round.
IBK will face Heungkuk Sinsung in the first match of the second round on April 8. Coach Kim Ho-cheol said, “We will play to the best of our ability. The volleyball is round, and the players’ mood is good. We focused on resting, and we need to find out what we can do during the match.”
Set 1: Heungkuk Life tied the score at 1-1, but overcame a late rally to take the lead
Heungkuk Life was the first team to take the lead in the match. At 2-1 in the first set, Kim Yeon-kyung’s open attack was followed by Kim Mi-yeon’s consecutive service aces to widen the gap. At 5-2, a service error by Lim Hye-rim, a service ace by Kim Soo-ji, and an attack error by Pyo Seung-joo extended the gap to 8-2.
IBK came back with an open attack by Abecrombie and a net touch error by Kim Na-hee. At 4-9, kills by Abecrombie and Choi Jeong-min, a service ace by Pyo Seung-joo and a block by Ponpun brought the score to 8-9.
At 15-13, Heungkuk Life extended its lead to 17-13 on an open attack and service ace by Kim Yeon-kyung, and at 18-16, the team reached the 20-point mark for the first time with a kill by Abecrombie and a quick open by Kim Mi-yeon.
Still holding out hope, IBK put pressure on Heungkuk Life with back-to-back kills from Pyo Seung-ju and Choi Jung-min at 20-23. Heungkuk Life reached set point with a back-attack by Yelena, but IBK IBK tied the score at 24-24 with a block by Reina and a service ace by Pyo Seung-ju.
Heungkuk Life had the last laugh. After Yelena’s open attack made it 25-24, Abecrombie’s error on a back attack ended the first set.
Kim “Ssangpo” Yeon-kyung and Yelena stood out with six points apiece, while Kim Mi-yeon also contributed with five points. On the other hand, IBK, which led 4-0 in blocks, was frustrated by the lack of heart from Pyo Seung-ju, who scored six points in the first set alone.
Set 2: IBK doesn’t back down, Heungkuk Life falters
After losing the first set, IBK came out strong in the second set. After scoring the first point on a Kim Na-hee service error, IBK took a 3-0 lead on back-to-back kills by Pyo Seung-ju, and at 4-4, they scored the next three points on a Kim Mi-yeon service error and attack errors by Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena.
At 10-8, IBK extended the lead to 13-8 with a staggered attack by Abe Crombie, a kill by Kim Mi-yeon and a quick open by Pyo Seung-joo. Heungkuk Life then switched setters from Lee Won-jung to Kim Da-sol in an attempt to turn the tide.
However, IBK solidified the victory with three consecutive points at 15-10 on a quick open by Pyo Seung-joo, a block by Choi Jung-min, and a back-attack by Abe Crombie. Eventually, IBK took a comfortable 20-point lead and closed out the third set at 23-15 with a quick opener by Pyo Seung-joo and a block by Choi Jung-min.
Abe Crombie led both teams with six kills, and it was encouraging to see that the team had a higher attack percentage (48%) than in the first set (34.28%). On the other hand, Heungkuk Life collapsed with nine unforced errors, and both setters Lee Won-jung and Kim Da-sol failed to live up to expectations.
Set 3: Reina’s performance changed the tone of the match
Unlike the first and second sets, Heungkuk Life started Reina instead of Kim Na-hee, and it proved to be a ‘godsend’. She scored a quick opener at 7-8 in the third set, followed by an open attack and a service ace at 8-9.
Heungkuk Life, who turned the tide thanks to Reina’s performance, made it 13-9 with back-to-back points from Kim Mi-yeon and Yelena and a block from Kim Soo-ji. IBK, which tried to find a breakthrough by playing Kim Hee-jin and Kim Ha-kyung in place of Lim Hye-rim and Ponpun, sparked a comeback with quick points from Abe Crombie and Pyo Seung-ju, but Heungkuk Life answered with a quick point from Kim Mi-yeon and a service ace to go up 16-12.
Facing set point at 24-19, Heungkuk Life clinched the third set victory with a lucky point when Kim Mi-yeon attempted a reception on Kim Hee-jin’s serve, but the ball went over the net and landed in the opponent’s court.
The team’s offense was energized by Yelena (5 points) and Reina (4 points), while Lee Won-jeong also played better than in the second set. IBK’s offense struggled, with Abercrombie scoring just two points. 카지노사이트
Set 4: Heungkuk Sinsaeng overcame a five-point deficit to win the set
With the teams tied at 11-11, IBK IBK scored two points on a back attack by Abecrombie and an error by Reina. At 13-12, Choi Jeong-min’s block and Abercrombie’s back-attack further boosted the momentum.
At 16-18, Heungkuk Life conceded one more point due to a miscommunication in defense following Kim Yeon-kyung’s invasion of the center line, and at 16-20, Kim committed an error while trying to pass the ball to the third level.
It looked like the fifth set was going to be a close one, but after Lee Won-jung was replaced by Kim Da-sol as setter, the flow of the match changed. After Heungkuk Sae Myung rallied to 20-21 on a timed attack by Kim, a service ace by Park Eun Seo and a push and block by Reina, Kim tied the score at 21-21.
At 23-23, a kill by Yelena and a service error by Ponpun tied the score at 23-23, and an error by Abercrombie gave Heungkuk Life match point. IBK held off Heungkuk Life with two deuces from Abecrombie, but at 26-26, a kill from Kim Yeon-kyung and an error from Abecrombie put an end to the fierce battle.