“Finally, finally!” says Abondanza after ‘Gimcheon Seo’ victory… Championship pain erased
Victory in Gimcheon was even more valuable.
Women’s professional volleyball Heungkuk Life won the opening match of the Dodram 2023~2024 V-League against Korea Expressway Corporation 3-0 (25-20 25-13 25-16) in straight sets at Gimcheon Indoor Gymnasium on Thursday.
It was a perfect washout. Heungkuk Life faced Doosan in last season’s championship final (best-of-five), taking games one and two at home in Incheon. They lost the third and fourth games in Gimcheon. They lost the series 2-2. They lost Game 5 in Incheon to the DOTS after two straight wins and three straight losses to win the championship. They got their revenge in the opening game of the new season.
They were outrebounded 18.6%-44.6% in team reception efficiency. However, they were out-hit 46.5%-28.7% in team offensive success rate. They also committed fewer errors (13) than their opponent (23).
Yelena Mrazenovic (real name Yelena) had a team-high 20 kills (53.13% attack percentage) with two blocks and one ace, Yeon-kyung Kim had 16 kills (53.33% attack percentage), and Mi-yeon Kim had eight kills (35.00% attack percentage) with one ace.
Setter Lee Won-jung, middle blocker Lee Ju-ah, outside hitter Yelena, opposite spiker Kim Mi-yeon, middle blocker Kim Chae-yeon, outside hitter Kim Yeon-kyung, and libero Do Soo-bin started.
Veteran Kim Hae-ran, the existing starting libero, did not accompany the team to Gimcheon due to a bad knee. Filling the void, Do Soo-bin struggled on the day with an 18.75% receiving efficiency. Her 22 digs were the most on the team.
After the match, Coach Abondanza said, “Finally, finally, finally! We won in Gimcheon. I’m so happy. I’m happy with the result,” he said with a smile. He was referring to last season’s championship.
Abondanza used middle blocker Kim Soo-ji (formerly of IBK), who was acquired in the off-season free agency (FA) market, as a substitute rather than a starter. “Kim Soo-ji is not at full strength after her (right knee cartilage) surgery,” Abondanza said. We thought it would take more time,” he said. “Kim Chae-yeon has grown a lot in attack, serve, and blocking, so we started her first. In the middle, (Lee) Ju-ah struggled for a while and I thought about putting Chae-yeon in her place. We will continue to use these three (until Kim Soo-ji),” he said.
“When Kim Soo-ji comes in, even if she doesn’t block perfectly, she has a lot of effective blocks, which has a good effect on the defense, so we are thinking about that as well,” he added.
Despite the large gap in the score, the team did not play outside hitter Reina Tokoku, who is a non-Asian. Abondanza said, “We tried to play players who can play in the big moments. She’s been doing a really good job. I can tell you that her time to come in and play will definitely come,” he said. “I think everyone is looking forward to it because she hasn’t shown it yet. I’ll try to use her in the next match (against Hyundai E&C in Suwon) if I get the chance. I think it would be good to watch.”먹튀검증
Kim was a commentator for women’s volleyball at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, which concluded on Aug. 8. She returned home about a week later. Coach Abondanza said, “As you can see, her performance and jumping power are very good. She joined the team after the Asian Games, but there’s no doubt about her performance,” he praised.
He said, “It’s hard to judge from one day, but the players were nervous. There are some things I don’t like,” he said, adding, “(Lee) played a good set with a strong shot. We trained to utilize the middle blocker a lot, but his serve was strong, so we missed that part. I think we need a little more time.”
“I’m not satisfied with our team reception. We need to improve our efficiency.”
“I don’t know,” Abondanza said, “I don’t know. Personally, I don’t think it will be until next year,” he said, adding, “But Do Su-bin did a good job today (Nov. 14).” Heungkuk Life will have to fill Hae-ran’s void until the beginning of the fourth round.