The myth of a fourth-place finish at Tokyo 2020 is a thing of the past. Since the retirement of Kim Yeon-kyung (Heungkuk Life) and Yang Hyo-jin (Hyundai E&C) from the national team, South Korean women’s volleyball has been on a downward spiral.
The Korean women’s national team, led by head coach Cesar Hernández González, fell to Croatia 0-3 (23-25, 21-25, 14-25) in the third match of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) Week 2 at the Nielsen Nelson Arena in Brasilia, Brazil, on Sunday (June 17).
Last year’s only one-win opponent… Croatia 1 win sacrificed
They were ranked 30th in the world. South Korea is ranked 27th. Even more shocking was the fact that Croatia was also winless before this tournament.
The Netherlands, who were undefeated, secured a victory on the 16th and suffered the humiliation of being Croatia’s one-game sacrifice in the battle for last place. Last year, the Netherlands also had the worst performance in the VNL, losing 12 consecutive matches, but it was even more painful as their only win in international competition was against Croatia.
After failing to take a single set in seven matches at the tournament, Korea has now lost 19 straight VNL matches, dating back to last year.
Five consecutive errors at the end of the first set, how lethargic can you be…
They evened the offensive score at 36-37, but were outscored 5-14 in blocks and 10-18 in points off opponent errors.
Korea started Pyo Seung-ju and Park Jung-ah as outside hitters, Moon Ji-yoon as an outside hitter, Jung Ho-young and Lee Da-hyun as middle blockers, Yeom Hye-sun as setter, and Moon Jung-won as libero. Kang So-hwi, Kim Da-eun, and Kim Ji-won, who started the previous day, started the match on the bench.
The first set was a chance. With a 23-20 lead late in the game, it looked like they would win the set for the first time in the tournament. However, the opponent had a hole in the center and Jung Ho-young’s attack was blocked, cutting the deficit to one point. Then, an attack error by Moon Ji-yoon followed by back-to-back errors by Croatia cost them the first set.
After five consecutive errors in the first set, Korea was unable to make much of a comeback. They led 14-13 in the second set but collapsed after four consecutive errors, and in the third set, they were outclassed from the start.
Middle blocker Jung Ho-young (KGC Ginseng Corporation) led the offense with 10 points and outside hitter Pyo Seung-ju (IBK) with nine, but even Croatia proved to be a wall. It was an overall close game, starting with the height, where they gave up 18 points to opposing middle blocker Samadan Martina.안전놀이터
The team concludes Week 2 with a match against Germany on the morning of the 19th. The Germans are a strong team with a 5-1 record. It’s a matchup where upsets are unlikely. South Korea, who have been shutout in seven straight matches, will be looking to take a set.
After returning home from Germany, the team will play Bulgaria (1-6), Dominican Republic (2-4), China (6), and Poland (6-1) in the third week of qualifying at the Suwon Chilbo Gymnasium in Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, starting on Nov. 27. Playing in front of a large number of fans in Korea, the team will be hoping to get a much-needed win.