Woori Card head coach Shin Young-cheol called on Matei and Kim Ji-han to step up in the win.
Woori Card won the men’s Dodram 2023-2024 V-League match against the Korea Electric Power Company in three sets to one (25-21 25-23 19-25 25-20) at the Jangchung Gymnasium in Seoul on Monday.
Woori Card, who made a splash in the first round with five wins and one loss, continued their strong showing in the second round. With three more points, Woori Card (17 points) moved into first place, three points ahead of Samsung Fire (5-1, 14 points), who have played one less match.
Woori Card received even scoring from its forwards, including Matei (21 points), Han Sung-jeong, and Kim Ji-han (over 13 points). Woori Card also continued its ‘home unbeaten streak’, having won all four games at home this season.
After the game, Coach Shin said, “I want to thank the players for playing well in the first game of the second round. However, there is still something to be desired. In the third set, our aces (Matei and Kim Ji-han) attacked a little out of rhythm, and that was a little disappointing,” he said, adding, “(Park) Jun-hyuk came out as a starter and played a lot of roles, and (Han) Sung-jung also played quite well. Han was the hidden MVP (Most Valuable Player).”
“A lot of things were good, but our two aces have some work to do.”
Woori Card was without their main middle blocker, Park Jin-woo, due to injury. Park Jun-hyuk stepped in for him and scored five points. He had three blocking points and two fastbreak points.
Coach Shin praised Park, saying, “I have to give him a full 100 points.”
With the team trailing 7-13 midway through the third set, Shin brought on Lee Seung-won in place of starting setter Han Tae-joon. Lee joined Woori Card from Samsung Fire via trade in April of last year while serving in the military. Although he played in the Cup this year, it was his first game back in the regular season in about three seasons.
Shin said, “(Lee) Seung-won has been getting better with his toss lately. He still needs to deliver a fastball toss with detail and speed. His game management is a bit better than (Han) Tae-joon’s. Overall, we are still lacking in our style, but we are getting better.”
Meanwhile, Kwon Young-min, head coach of KEPCO, which has lost four straight games, said, “(Ha) Seung-woo made a lot of mistakes with the toss. He didn’t give it when he should have, gave it when he shouldn’t, and conceded points while being blocked by the opponent. It was a disappointing game.”
Outside hitter Seo Jae-duk scored 14 points (52.38% attack percentage) on the day, but was heavily served by his opponent.
“Seo’s position is not an easy one,” Kwon said, “and it’s not often that you find a player who can both receive and attack well. I thought he was struggling physically, so I put (Kim) Dong-yi in the fourth set. Seo Jae-duk’s offense needs to be revitalized, but it’s a vicious cycle of losses due to the overlap of these things.”
Kim Dong-young, who recently returned to the team after military service, came in as a substitute and showed strong power, scoring several points.
“First of all, Jae Deok-i will get the start,” Kwon said of Kim Dong-young’s utilization. “When Jae-deok is alive, our offense is alive,” Kwon said, adding, “When Jae-deok is resting, I think it would be fine if Dong-yi comes in and plays the joker role. But 토토 he’s not a very good receiver. If he comes in, Tice will receive the ball and take over the offensive position that Dong is in.”
In the fourth set, foreign player Taisu made two unforced errors on her serve, which cost her the match.
Coach Kwon said, “I don’t know if it’s because my serve toss is unstable, but once I make a mistake, it comes out one after another. When his serve toss was bad, I ordered him to put it in, but that didn’t work either,” Kwon lamented.