Korean women’s volleyball VNL sortie… Shall we wash away the humiliation of the previous defeat?

Korean women’s volleyball goes to ‘restoration of honor’. 

The women’s volleyball team, led by coach Cesar Hernandez, will compete in the 2023 International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) Volleyball Nations League (VNL), which opens on the 30th (Korean time). 

Korea will face off against Turkiye, Thailand, Italy, Poland, the United States, Serbia, and Canada in the first week (May 30-June 4) held in Turkiye, and the second week (June 13-June 13-June 4) held in Brazil. 18) against Brazil, Croatia, USA, Japan, Germany, Thailand and Serbia.

The last 3 weeks (June 27-July 2) will be held in Korea and will be held against the United States, Poland, Germany, Bulgaria, Serbia, Dominican Republic and China. The final tournament will be held July 13-17 in Texas, USA.

The humiliation of losing all 12 matches… this year should be different 

Women’s volleyball enjoyed a golden age as a myth of the semifinals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However, as veteran players such as Kim Yeon-kyung, Kim Su-ji, and Yang Hyo-jin retired en masse while postponing the generation change, they were humiliated by losing all 12 matches in last year’s tournament. Although a sluggish performance was expected, it was a shocking result for Korea in that all other countries out of 16 participating countries had 4 or more wins each.

Soon after, at the World Championships, Korea only had 1 win and 5 losses, and the world rankings fell to 23rd. As it lags behind China (5th), Japan (6th), and Thailand (15th), it is in danger of being driven to the ‘volleyball periphery’ in Asia. 

In particular, this event is important to win the right to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics. To qualify for the Paris Olympics, you must pass the continental qualifiers or maintain a high world ranking. Twelve countries will participate in the Paris Olympics, and the host country, France, has secured one ticket, while six countries will qualify for the preliminaries, and the remaining five will be distributed according to the world rankings as of June 2024.

For Korea, where it is more realistic to raise the world rankings than pass the preliminaries, it is necessary to earn as many ranking points as possible in this tournament.

Korea is picky from the first opponent. In the early morning of the 1st, we will face off against the host country, Turkiye. It is a strong player in women’s volleyball that is ahead of Korea in both world rankings and opponents. Korea won in the quarterfinals of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but in last year’s VNL and World Championships, they were defeated with set scores of 1-3 and 0-3, respectively.

It is ranked 7th in the world, and coach Daniele Santarelli, who led Serbia to victory in the world championship last year, is in charge. In addition, there are many star players who are famous on the world stage, such as Edda Erdem, Zehra Gunes, and Bute Balladin.

The key player is Moon Jeong-won… Will the transformation into Libe succeed? 

In an objective comparison, Korea is naturally evaluated as inferior. However, there are also places to believe. This is thanks to Kim Yeon-kyung and Han Yu-mi, the ‘Volleyball Empress’, joining the national team as advisors. For young players who lack experience in the international arena, their support is more than anything else to build morale and organizational skills. 

In addition, the roles of Kim Yeon-kyung and Han Yu-mi became more important as coach Cesar was unable to train with the national team due to the game schedule of Turkiye Vakifbank, which is also a coach.

Moon Jeong-won is a player to pay attention to in the national team that tried to change. The national team selected Moon Jeong-won as the libero ahead of this tournament. Moon Jung-won’s original position is an apositive spiker, but he played in a total of 35 games in the professional volleyball V-League this season and recorded a receiving efficiency of 56.94%, surpassing professional liberos to rank second in this category.

Korea suffered from defensive anxiety in last year’s VNL. As he couldn’t catch his opponent’s strong serve, his receive fluctuated, and eventually his attack accuracy dropped significantly. The receiving efficiency of the starter libero, Han Da-hye, was only 38.42%. 

For this reason, Moon Jeong-won, who showed stable defense in the V-League, was paid attention as an alternative, and he chose the unconventional option of selecting him as a professional libero. However, there are concerns. Moon Jung-won played the role of helping the main libero in his team, and had never specialized in receiving. Because of this, the role of a professional libero who can only under toss in the avant-garde may not be suitable. 토토사이트

For Korea, how much Moon Jeong-won plays as a libero can determine the outcome of this tournament. If Moon Jeong-won is shaken, Shin Yeon-kyung, a professional libero, must step in. Attention is focusing on whether Korean women’s volleyball, which is half concerned and half expected, will regain its status on the international stage. 

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