Men’s professional volleyball’s Korea Electric Power has won seven straight games. The team has become the favorite in the third round of the 2023-24 Dodram V League.
On Aug. 8, they won their away match against Samsung Fire at Chungmu Gymnasium in Daejeon with a 3-0 set score. With the win and three points, the team moved up two spots in the standings from fifth to third.
“The first set was a tough one,” Kwon Young-min, head coach of KEPCO, told reporters after the match, “The players were generally in a heavy physical condition. Tijs (Netherlands) was also not in good shape due to enteritis, so I was worried, but I’m glad we got a good result.”
“First and foremost, Seo Jae-duk played well. I am very satisfied with that.” Seo finished with 11 points and a 55.5 percent offensive success rate.
KEPCO’s scoring was evenly distributed, with Tice and Lim Sung-jin contributing 13 points each and middle blocker Shin Young-seok adding 11 points, including four blocks.
“(Seo) Jae-deok is the last key to our team’s power, and if he plays better in the future, I think the team’s performance will be better,” Kwon said. However, before the match, Kwon had one order for setter Ha Seung-woo.
“I told him to increase the number of backhand attacks against Jae Deok,” Kwon said, “and I told him that it’s okay if he gets caught or goes out of line.” Seo attempted 12 backhand attacks in sets one through three and succeeded five times.
Kwon also said, “I don’t want the players to have any pressure on the winning streak.” “They shouldn’t be complacent,” he emphasized. “The streak will come to an end at some point,” he said, “but I’m really happy that we all got the three points during the streak.”
“I think we got over the hump in the second round. I think the third round will be the real competition.” Seo Jae-duk agrees with Kwon, saying, “I think it’s the beginning of the competition. If we let our guard down, we could go down again,” he said cautiously.
Meanwhile, Kwon said, “Even if the winning streak ends, I don’t think the losing streak will be long. We didn’t play too well in the first round, but I don’t think it will be like that.” KEPCO will look to extend its winning streak to eight games when it hosts Korean Air at its home court, Suwon Gymnasium, on March 13.
Samsung Fire had its three-game winning streak halted by KEPCO. “We were outplayed in all areas, including offense, defense, and serve-receive,” said Samsung Fire head coach Kim Sang-woo, “KEPCO played better than us.” Samsung Fire’s next opponent is Woori Card, who is ranked first as of Aug. 8. However, Samsung Fire has good memories of facing Woori Card in the second round, winning 3-0 in straight sets.