Korean Air, the defending men’s professional volleyball champion, swept its season opener against Hyundai Capital as it looks to end a four-game losing streak this season. The Korean Air men’s volleyball team was able to diversify their offense and overwhelm their opponents despite the absence of main hitter Jung Ji-seok and middle blocker Kim Min-jae due to injury. Korean Air defeated Hyundai Capital in straight sets 3-0 (27-25 25-22 25-23) in their Dodram 2023-2024 V League home match at Gyeyang Gymnasium in Incheon on Thursday .Korean Air, which swept Hyundai Capital in the third round of the championship on April 3 to win the 2022-2023 season, was back in action after 194 days. The two teams, who battled to the death in last season’s championship match, battled to a deuce in the first set of the new season opener. Korean Air was down 17-20 before Lincoln Williams (nicknamed Lincoln) scored two consecutive points and Kim Gyu-min tied the game at 17-17. At 25-25, a late attack by Lincoln gave Korean Air set point, and Jeong Jung-yong blocked an attack by Ahmed Iqbairi (nicknamed Ahmed) to end the first set.
Lincoln scored 10 points in the first set, with six of them coming after the 17th point of the set .Korean Air started the second set with four straight points to take control. Korean Air setter Han had an easy time distributing the ball to Jung Jeong-yong and Kim Kyu-min in the second set .Lincoln, who was quiet throughout the second set, scored the decisive point at 21-19 with an exquisite fake push attack that hit the diagonal void in the Hyundai Capital court .Korean Air closed out the second set with relative ease, 25-22, as the teams exchanged points without going scoreless from the midway point of the set at 15-13.Korean Air continued the momentum from the first two sets to close out the match in the third set.At 3-4, a quick open from Kwak Seung-seok gave them the lead, and then they scored seven straight points on Kwak’s serve to turn the tide of the match once and for all. While Lincoln led the team in scoring with 19 points, Jeong Jung-yong, who replaced Jung Seung-seok, had 12 points and a 76.92% attack percentage.
Kim Gyu-min completed the trio with 10 points, including four blocked shots .Ahmed led both teams with 30 points, but Hyundai Capital struggled with a monotonous offense that focused on Ahmed. National apogee spiker Heo Soo-bong, who started the opening game as a middle blocker due to Ahmed’s recruitment, was not at his best with 10 points .Middle blocker Chai Pei-chang (real name Pei Chang), who joined Hyundai Capital as an Asian quarterback and started, had a successful debut with seven points. In the women’s opening match at Gimcheon Gymnasium, Heungkuk Life swept home team Korea Expressway Corporation in straight sets, 3-0 (25-20 25-13 25-16).Heungkuk Life topped the regular season last season and won the first two games of the championship (best-of-five series) before falling in three games to Korea Expressway Corporation to finish as runners-up.After sharpening their knives throughout the off-season, Heungkuk Life overwhelmed Doosan in the opening match of the new season and secured a shutout (3-0) victory. Heungkuk Life took the lead in the first set at 16-16 when Kim Yeon-kyung scored two consecutive points.
With the score at 20-18, Kim took a toss from Lee Won-jung and scored on a back row attack to set the tone. At 23-20, Heungkuk Life closed out the first set with a quick open attack by Kim Yeon-kyung and a block by Lee Won-jung, who blocked an attack by Tanacha Suk-sot (registered name Tanacha).The second set was a near-double-digit victory for Heungkuk Life, who held DOT to just 13 points and easily won the third set 25-16.Heungkuk Life was led by Yelena Mrazenovic (registered name Yelena) with a team-high 20 points, while Kim Yeon-kyung added 16 points, with 36 points coming from the two players alone. In terms of turnovers, Heungkuk Life had 13 and DOT had 23.Roadworks did not live up to expectations with new foreign player Vanya Vukiric (registered name Vukiric) scoring 12 points, shooting 30.56% from the field, and committing 10 errors.
Tanacha, an Asian-qualified player, also had six points and a 22.22% attack percentage, indicating that he still needs more time to adjust .Most importantly, the Roadrunners were unable to fill the void left by star setter Lee Yoon-jung, who went down with a knee injury just before the start of the tournament. Park Eun-ji, the only other setter on the roster, took charge of the match on her own and served two aces, but was given the task 스포츠토토존 of coordinating with the offense.