Although the result was disappointing, the team proved why Hyundai E&C is considered to be a ‘high-flying team’ with Yang Hyo-jin.
The V-League’s leading middle blocker has earned the nickname “Block Queen” not only for her longevity on the national team, but also for her 11 consecutive seasons of leading the team in blocking.
Still proving her mettle on the court, Yang Hyo-jin, in her 17th professional season, started against Heungkuk Life in the first round of the Dodram 2023-2024 V-League Women’s Division at Suwon Indoor Gymnasium on April 18. After winning the first game against Pepper Savings Bank, Hyundai E&C was looking to make it two straight wins against Heungkuk Life. They were looking to continue the momentum of their 12-game opening streak and 15-game opening streak in the past two seasons.
From the first set, Yang Hyo-jin showed off her height. Together with Lee Da-hyun, she scored five points, including two blocks each, to showcase HCE’s strengths. Yang’s attack success rate was a whopping 75%, and she took the set with a 25-15 margin.
Yang seemed to disappear from the court for a while in the second and third sets, but came alive in the fourth. She scored a team-high six points in the fourth set and had a 62.5% attack success rate to rescue Hyundai E&C from the brink and push the match to a fifth set. Her offensive scoring, targeting empty spots on the opponent’s court, was powerful.안전놀이터
Yang Hyo-jin recorded a team-high 17 points (56.52% attack success rate), including four blocks on the day. She had only one unforced error and eight effective blocks, which helped the team to fight back. However, Yang Hyo-jin’s stellar performance was unfortunately not enough.
Hyundai E&C lost to Heungkuk Life with a set score of 2-3 (25-15, 12-25, 21-25, 25-21, 12-15), earning just one point. After the match, Heungkuk Life head coach Marcello Abondanza had high praise for Yang Hyo-jin. “She’s tall, but I think she’s at the top level beyond Korea. Her movement is good from blocking to leading. Add to that Moma, and I think they’re a strong team when it comes to blocking.”
Kim Yeon-kyung, who scored 23 points at the Heungkuk Life Court, added, “We knew that Hyundai E&C was very strong and that it would not be easy. In the actual game, it was difficult because they had players with high blocking and offense.”
At the pre-season media day, Yang Hyo-jin, who represented Hyundai E&C, said that her determination for the season was ‘until the end’ and that “those who have been watching volleyball for a long time will know. I will do my best to stay on the court until April,” she said. Will she be able to fulfill her wish?