Hyundai E&C middle blocker Yang Hyo-jin, the “Living Legend,” showed her focus in a grueling first-round schedule, leading the team to two straight wins. “Yang Hyo-jin is still Yang Hyo-jin,” said Hyundai E&C head coach Kang Sung-hyung.
On October 25, Hyundai E&C played a home match against Korea Expressway Corporation in the first round of the 2023-24 V-League Women’s Division at Suwon Indoor Gymnasium, winning in three sets (19-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-22). With the win, Hyundai E&C improved to 3-1-1 on the season with 10 points, overtaking Heungkuk Life (3-1-1 with 8 points), which has played one game less.
Before the game, head coach Kang Sung-hyung said, “All the players were on the court today. Everyone did a good job of controlling their conditions. The opponent’s foreign player (Burkilich) has a high hitting percentage and it feels tricky. The Asian quota player (Natacha), who has to fill the void of Park Jung-ah, will be able to answer to some extent. We also utilized the Asian quota player, Wipai, to reduce the share of MOMA, and it definitely had an effect on the physical strength of the existing players.”
Hyundai E&C foreshadowed a difficult match as they dropped the first set to Korea Expressway Corporation, who were desperate to record their first win of the season.
However, Hyundai E&C regained the momentum by taking the second set in a close match. At 13-13 in the second set, HEC took a step forward with an open attack by Lee Da-hyun and a back-attack kill by Moma. HHI extended the lead to 18-14 after Lee’s fastball brought the second technical timeout of the second set.
At 22-20, Hyundai E&C reached set point with a kill by Yang Hyo-jin and a block by Moma. In the end, Hyundai E&C balanced the score with an opponent error to take the second set.
In the third set, after taking a big lead early on, Hyundai E&C allowed a late rally to bring the score to 23-20. However, a back-attack by Moma gave HEC set point, and Lee Da-hyun finished off a fast-break point at 24-23 to take the third set.
After accumulating points through various attacking routes from the beginning of the fourth set, HEC took the lead at 11-4. However, after a shaky start to the fourth set that saw the score tied at 20-20, HHI regained the lead with three consecutive points from Yang Hyo-jin. HCE closed out the match with a kill from Moma on set point at 24-22.
Coach Kang Sung-hyung spoke to the media after the victory and said, “The players’ bodies looked heavy from the first set today because of the tight first round schedule. We need to make sure that our two-step connection, serve-receive, and defense run smoothly to make it easier. Still, Moma was a bit overmatched by the height of her foreign opponent, but she did a good job next to Yang Hyo-jin. It would have been nice to have more attacking routes like we had in the last game, but when it came down to it, Moma and Hyojin were able to make it happen.”온라인카지노
Speaking about veteran Yang Hyo-jin, who led the way with 23 points, Kang Sung-hyung said, “We could have easily won the fourth set, but things became difficult at the end, but we managed to keep the lead thanks to Yang Hyo-jin’s back-to-back points at the end. Yang Hyo-jin is still Yang Hyo-jin (laughs). She had a great scoring success rate even in difficult situations today,” he said, giving her a thumbs-up.
After hearing Kang Sung-hyung’s praise, Yang Hyo-jin said, “The first round schedule is too tough. It was probably hard for all the players. Although I lost the first set, I think I overcame it because there were several players who received and hit me in various ways. In the fourth set, I felt like my legs were losing strength. I thought I was going to be okay because of the big score difference, but between going out and coming back in, I thought I had to get my mind together and do something,” she smiled.
“Honestly, I didn’t think I would make it to this age. I’ve been playing volleyball in a difficult environment since I was a rookie. Nowadays, the volleyball system and environment have improved so much. I still enjoy playing volleyball at my age to the point where I think I would like to go back in time and play in this environment. So even though I’m 35, I prepare the same way. If I get a little bit complacent, I don’t play well, so I try to work harder.”