Defending champions Korean Air narrowly avoided a second straight loss. Korean Air has struggled since the beginning of the season due to injuries to national team players and inconsistent form among its starters.
In the first round, Korean Air lost to Samsung Fire and Woori Card in straight sets. On the 28th, they hosted KB Insurance at Anbang and went through the same five-set battle, but roared back at the end. They breathed a sigh of relief as they claimed their second win of the season.
The team is still without outside hitter Jeong Ji-seok and middle blocker Kim Min-jae, who went to the off-season national team. In addition, starting outside hitter Kwak Seung-seok missed the game against KB Insurance. He was injured and out of the lineup, leaving the “stone duo” of Jeong Ji-seok and Kwak Seung-seok on the court. Kwak Seung-seok was forced to guard the warm-up zone.
Korean Air, which has been using third-year pro outside hitter Jeong Jung-yong as a starter this season, brought in outside hitter Mark Espejo (registered name Espejo), who was selected for the Asian Quarterfinals, for his first start of the season. The team then pulled out Lee Jun for Espejo as a substitute.
Apogee foreign player Lincoln Williams (registered name Lincoln) also had a bad knee from the offseason. Lim Dong-hyuk came on as a substitute and showed his fixer instincts. He showed his offensive prowess, scoring six points in the fifth set alone.
Korean Air utilized 14 players on the day and held on for the fifth set, winning the match in three games.
Speaking after the match, setter Yoo Kwang-woo commented on the team’s situation at the start of the season, saying, “We have a lot of injuries and we are not in good shape. So we’re all on high alert. When you get into the game, you forget about these things. Today I told the players that the process is important, but we have to get results. I told them that after we win, we’ll look at the process. Luckily, the players were thirsty for a win, and I’m glad we won as a team,” he said calmly.
It was the third straight full-set match. “Winning reduces fatigue,” said Yoo Kwang-woo. If we had lost today, I think we would have suffered more than 300% damage,” he said, adding, “Even in the fifth set, we had to win unconditionally. When you lose once, twice, or three times in important situations, it becomes a habit. We had to break it. The players were aware of that, and we were focused in the deciding games, and it paid off. I think today’s win will be a wake-up call,” he said encouragingly.
“Every play is about trying to score. It’s a battle of how much they defend. I feel like I’m giving the ball to the players who are playing well that day, and I’m giving it to the players I trust.”
Korean Air has the task of overcoming its early season struggles. Head coach Tommy Tilikainen emphasized the role of the coach. “I need to do my part better. Tactically, where we can score more goals, how we prepare ourselves to play, how we plan and organize our training, that’s my role.”
The team is also looking to maximize the benefits of their depth. “Two wins and two losses in four games is the reality,” said Tilikainen. We’ve had some bad starts and lost some games. The important thing is to prepare consistently for the next game,” he said. “In training, we try to think about how we can do better and how we can complement our play.”온라인카지노
It’s also important to treat the training process as if it were an actual match. “My role is to give the players a lot of opportunities,” says Tilikainen. “My role is to give them a lot of opportunities. I don’t think the players have much difficulty because they have experience, and it’s my job to make sure they do.”
Yoo Kwang-woo also said, “Everyone goes to practice, trains, and is put into action. I think our team is very disciplined. I think we’re a good team, no matter who comes in, we’re a good team.” “Practice and experience also help. Experience is what keeps you going. It’s a split second between being able to hold on and not being able to. I think it is practice and skill to be able to endure silently,” he said, emphasizing the importance of practice and experience.
While veterans such as Jung Jeong-seok and Kwak Seung-seok are away, younger players are getting another chance and gaining experience.
This season, Korean Air is looking to become the first team to win four consecutive V-League titles. “Nothing comes for free,” says coach Tilikainen, and he is looking for ways to overcome the crisis. Korean Air is in a holding pattern.