Women’s volleyball couldn’t escape the same criticism.
On December 12, the Dodram V-League Women’s Media Day for the 2023-24 season was held at Cheongdam Rivera Hotel.
The event was attended by the head coaches of the seven women’s teams, as well as key domestic players, international players, and the first Asian quota players introduced to professional volleyball this season.
The men’s media day, held earlier in the day, was a more subdued affair due to a lack of international success. The men’s team finished seventh at the most recent Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games and left the tournament before the opening ceremony.
The situation is even worse for women’s volleyball. After going 12-0 in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) last year, they went 1-4 at the 2022 World Championships, 12-0 in the VNL this year, a sixth-place finish at the Asian Championships, no qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, and a fifth-place finish at the Hangzhou Asian Games.
The women’s side was not spared the same questions. “Why should we watch the V-League (in the face of poor international results)” was a recurring theme among the questions posed by reporters.
The players took the microphones to answer the question. First to answer was Heungkuk Life’s Kim Soo-ji, one of the veterans who stepped down from the national team along with Kim Yeon-kyung (Heungkuk Life) shortly after the team reached the quarterfinals of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Kim didn’t mention the national team in particular, instead focusing on the regular season, saying, “Now it’s a fresh start again.” “If you look back at last year’s league, there were a lot of interesting matches, and I think this year there will be more exciting matches because of the aqua, and we have Kim Yeon-kyung,” he said, drawing a laugh. He concluded by saying, “It’s a process of evolution, so I hope many people will watch.”
Hyundai E&C’s Yang Hyo-jin, who also returned the flag, said, “As you can see from last season, the V-League is unpredictable until the end.”
Bae Yoo-na of Korea Expressway Corporation responded, “We’re missing some members who have been together for years, but you can see a lot of new faces on the court, so please watch and support us.”
GS Caltex’s Kang So-hwi, who has become the team’s ace despite a lackluster performance and is responsible for the most points in international tournaments, said, “We have an Asian quarter setter, so we can show more diverse plays, and our team has good fan service.” Jungkwanjang’s Lee So-young followed up with the same reasoning, encouraging fans to come watch the V-League.
The same resolution question raised the point that the decline in international competitiveness of women’s volleyball could have an impact on the V-League.
The question went to Heungkuk Sinsa head coach Abon Danza, who is a foreigner, and IBK Bank head coach Kim Ho-cheol, who is the most senior coach in the V-League Women’s Division.
“It’s a very sensitive question,” said Kim, who took the microphone first, “but I’ll tell you my opinion. It’s hard for us to recover from the current situation. Unless we change this system, the dark ages will continue.”먹튀검증
“How we are going to take the future of Korean volleyball specifically, the coaches need to put their heads together for the sake of Korean volleyball, not just for their own teams,” Kim said.
When asked the same question, Abondanza said, “It’s going to be a long answer, but in short, (Korea) has all the conditions to have a championship,” adding, “If we want to raise the level a little bit more, we need to increase the number of foreign players so that domestic players can grow.”
Meanwhile, the 2023-24 Women’s V-League will kick off on March 14 at Gimcheon Indoor Gymnasium with a matchup between Korea Expressway Corporation and Heungkuk Life. Game time is 4 p.m.