An Italian master expresses his emotions…”My hot blood is out of control”
Heungkuk Life coach Marcello Abondanza reacted to his team’s opening two wins with a flurry of reactions and gestures. Heungkuk Life has been unleashing the ‘excitement’ that was hidden until last season.
Heungkuk Life, led by Abondanza, won the first round of the Dodram 2023-2024 V-League Women’s Division with a set score of 3-2 (15-25 25-12 25-21 21-25 15-12) against Hyundai E&C at Suwon Gymnasium in Gyeonggi-do, Gyeonggi-do on April 18.
Heungkuk Life rode the momentum of a 3-0 shutout of defending champion Korea Expressway Corporation in the official opening match on March 13 to a second straight win. Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena Ssangpo led the way in a hard-fought victory.
Heungkuk Sinsaeng’s performance on the day was far from stellar. They had 30 unforced errors and only seven blocks. Considering that Hyundai E&C recorded 14 blocks, they were completely outclassed in the height battle.
The road to victory was not smooth either. In the first set, Hyundai E&C’s solid defense and lack of offense led to a 15-25 loss. They bounced back to win the second set 25-12, but were down 17-21 midway through the third set.
However, Heungkuk Life proved why they have been dubbed the “absolute favorite” this season. A service ace by Kim Da-sol and back-to-back attack successes by Yelena led to four straight points to tie the score at 21-21.
An attack error by Hyundai E&C’s Moma made it 22-21, and Kim Mi-yeon’s opener and Kim Dassol’s service ace turned the tide of the match as they took the third set 25-21.
In the fourth set, Hyundai E&C’s comeback was briefly halted and the match went to a fifth set, but it was Heungkuk Sinsaeng who had the last laugh. Kim Yeon-kyung came to the rescue, scoring valuable points in each game, and the battle that lasted for more than two hours ended with Heungkuk Sinsang’s victory.
“It’s early in the season, so it’s hard to evaluate and talk about our performance,” said coach Abondanza in the victory interview, but he was satisfied, saying, “We didn’t play quality volleyball when we fell behind (in the third set), but it felt good to come back based on the players’ passion to win.”
“We were outblocked twice by Hyundai E&C, but that’s part of volleyball. “We tried to overcome their blocking with our strong serve. We tried to overcome the blocking with our strong serve, but our reception was still at the same level as our opponent.”
He laughed sheepishly when asked about his frustrations and joys during the match, depending on the situation. Abondanza, who took over the reins of Heungkuk Life in February with the 2022-2023 season still in full swing, hasn’t had to react as much as he did in the remaining games of the regular season and the championship match.먹튀검증
The loud berating of players after some of the more ridiculous errors or the cheering after a crucial goal were not seen often last season. It was as if they were playing in a championship game.
Abondanza prepared for the 2023-2024 season according to his plan from start to finish. As he spent more time with his players, he became more open with his emotions. He also reiterated his Italian roots.
“Actually, I was born in a country with hot blood (Italy),” Abondanza laughed, “and it’s hard to control my emotions when volleyball is going well or badly, when I’m sad or happy.”
“The more time I’ve spent with the players and the more we’ve worked together, the harder it is to control my emotions,” he explained.
He also thanked Hyundai E&C for competing in good faith. “Hyojin Yang of Hyundai E&C is not only a top-level middle blocker in Korea, but also an outstanding player by world standards,” Abondanza said, “She has really good movement. We also have Momah, who plays well on both offense and defense. In terms of blocking, I think Hyundai E&C is the strongest team right now.”