“I think I’ll have to make some big changes (to the team),” said Hyundai Capital men’s volleyball coach Choi Tae-woong on Sunday after the team’s 0-3 (24-26 17-25 16-25) set loss to Korean Air in the 2023-2024 V League at Gyeyang Gymnasium in Incheon. The comments were a rebuke to the team’s two-game winning streak that came to a screeching halt.
In the tense first set, Ahmed’s back-attack and Choi Min-ho’s successful serve gave Hyundai Capital a 23-18 lead at 14-13. But in the final minutes, they gave up consecutive points to 스포츠토토 Korean Air’s offense and even committed errors under the opponent’s strong pressure.
Hyundai Capital’s bench called timeout to break the opponent’s mood, and in the very next attack, a timed attack by Heo Soo-bong gave them set point at 24-21. However, even after that, Hyundai Capital was unable to connect their chances due to shaky reception and a high wall of opponent blocking. At 24-23, three consecutive attacks went out of bounds and the set ended the same way.
In the third set, Hyundai Capital squandered an early lead and dropped seven points from 16-18. Despite facing each other in last season’s championship match, Hyundai Capital has lost all three meetings this season.
In the post-match press conference, Choi expressed his frustration with the lethargic performance, saying, “I keep telling my players to be true professionals, but I don’t think they understand, so I need to let them feel it in their bodies.”
Once a V-League powerhouse, Hyundai Capital rebounded last season after a dark period. At the end of the season, they battled Korean Air for the regular season title, making their leap this season even more noteworthy. However, the team lost five straight games to open the season and then fell into a losing streak again, before winning against OK Financial Group on the 9th to escape a six-game losing streak that was on the verge of tying the club’s record for most consecutive losses. It seemed to rebound with its first two consecutive wins of the season, but against Korean Air, it piled up losses again. Hyundai Capital has slipped to sixth place (15 points, 4-12) after failing to find a breakthrough in its slump since the start of the season.
Choi said, “I thought the players’ lack of confidence was due to the pressure they felt on the field, but it was a lack of skill. I think they are only thinking about the name value of playing for the national team,” Choi said. He pointed out that players such as Heo Soo-bong, Hong Dong-sun, and Park Kyung-min, who joined the national team last offseason, were not performing as expected. “Even though we are constantly emphasizing it, the players’ fighting spirit and enthusiasm are not up. From now on, we will increase the amount of training,” Choi said, announcing a wide range of changes, including improving their physical condition.
Meanwhile, in the women’s competition, Korea Expressway Corporation snapped a six-game losing streak with a 3-2 (25-23 21-25 25-22 19-25 15-11) home victory over Heungkuk Saengsim, led by Bae Yuna’s 25 points.