Generation César’s game plan is speed…”the path to greater international competitiveness”
After a disastrous 12-match losing streak in the스포츠토토 FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) last year, the South Korean women’s national team is looking for a different result this year. Speed will be essential for the Koreans to get where they want to go.
Led by head coach César Hernández (Spain), the women’s team boarded a flight to Turku on Nov. 22. The team will have a final warm-up in Turku to prepare for the first week of the VNL.
Last year was a tough one for Korean women’s volleyball. The departure of key players such as Kim Yeon-kyung, Kim Soo-ji (Heungkuk Life) and Yang Hyo-jin (Hyundai E&C) after the 2021 Tokyo Olympics weakened the team and led to a 12-match losing streak in the VNL. It was the first time since the VNL began in 2018 that a Korean team had been swept and finished with zero points.
After suffering such a bitter defeat, the Korean team convened at the Jincheon Athletic Village last month to prepare for the tournament in hopes of redeeming themselves.
Although Coach Cesar was unable to attend the training sessions due to his dual role as coach of Bakifbank (Turkkiye), the team prepared for the tournament with the help of Coach Han Yumi and Advisor Kim Yeon-kyung.
In particular, Korea has been preparing for faster volleyball this time around, having realized the strength and height disadvantage on the international stage last year.
Lee Da-hyun, a member of the women’s volleyball team, checks in for departure at Incheon International Airport Terminal 2 on Nov. 22. The women’s national team, led by head coach Cesar Hernandez, will travel to Istanbul, Turkey, to compete in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) 2023. 2023.5.22/News1 ⓒ News1 Reporter Doo Kim
Before boarding the plane to Turkiye, national setter Yeom Hye-sun (Ginseng Corporation) explained the change, saying, “We emphasized speed to the setters from the beginning of the training. We have difficulty at the height, so we have to win with speed.” “For this purpose, we are trying to be more faithful to the basics and become stronger,” she said.
Similarly, middle blocker Lee Da-hyun (Hyundai E&C) said, “Korea can’t keep up with European and South American players in terms of height and power. So we have to play with speed like Thailand and Japan in Asia,” he said, emphasizing that he has been paying a lot of attention to speed over the past month.
To help César improve his competitiveness, his advisor, Yeon-kyung Kim, also helped him. Kim, who has extensive international experience, pointed out details and passed on her know-how to the juniors.
“Compared to the V-League, it’s hard to score points on the world stage,” Lee said. “It’s hard to score points in the world stage compared to the V-League. It’s very helpful for the younger players who don’t have much international experience.”
Coach Han Yoo-mi, who has been coaching the players for a month, said, “We are more prepared than last year. We all know that this year is more important because our performance last year was so bad,” she said, adding, “We are determined to win at least three games.”