SEOUL, Oct. 29 (Yonhap) — Defending V-League women’s champion Korea Expressway Corporation earned its first victory in the 2023 Gumi Dodram Cup professional volleyball tournament, beating Pepper Savings Bank in the opening match. The team defeated Pepper Savings Bank 3-1 (25-17 21-25 25-23 25-22) in straight sets in the opening match of the Gumi Dodram Cup Women’s Division (Group A) at Park Junghee Gymnasium in Gyeong sangbuk-do on Monday. The opening match was billed as the “Park Jung-ah Derby,” but in reality, Park was only in the warm-up zone .New Pepper Savings Bank head coach Joe Trinzi gave Park, who hadn’t had much time to get to know her teammates after being called up to the national team, a break. Trinzi lost his Korean debut .Park, who made his V-League debut with IBK in 2011-2012 and played for Korea Expressway Corporation from 2017-2018, became a free agent (FA) after the 2022-2023 season and signed a three-year contract with Pepper Savings Bank for a total annual fee of 775 million won (475 million won in salary and 300 million won in options).Coincidentally, the first official match after the transfer was scheduled against Roadworks, but Park did not step on the court. With foreign players, including Asian quarters, not participating in the tournament due to the lack of a transfer agreement (ICT), and Park resting, Pepper Savings Bank opened the tournament with only a fraction of its strength. The youngest club, Pepper Savings Bank, made its first ppearance in the Cup last year and lost all three qualifying matches in straight sets, 0-3.On this day, the team won two sets thanks to the efforts of Lee Han-bi (19 points) and Park Eun -seo (22 points), making it the first team to win a set in the Cup. However, they quickly fell apart as they dropped the decisive third set. At 20-24 in the third set, Pepper Savings Bank scored three casinositezone consecutive points from Park Eun- seo to pull within 23-24.The team had a chance to go for a deuce when Bae Yoo -na, the middle blocker of DOT, repeatedly blocked the attack. After receiving an open attack from Park Eun -seo, DOT ended the third set 25-23 with an open attack from Jeon Sae-yan. Pepper Savings Bank rallied from 16-24 to 22-24 in the fourth set, but a ball kicked up by libero Moon Seul -ki was not received by other players and the team lost the fourth set 22-25.Without star setter Lee Yoon-jung due to an ankle injury and weakened by the departure of Park Jung-ah, Road bank kept the pride of the defending V-League champions alive by winning the opening match of the Cup. Wing Kim Sae-in, who won the Player of the Cup last year, led the team’s offense with 20 points. Despite the victory, Roadrunner’s worries grew when middle blocker Choi Ga-eun, who was recruited by Pepper Savings Bank in exchange for setter Park Eun -seo, stepped on Park’s foot while attempting to block midway through the second set and fell, injuring her ankle.