Samsung Fire’s search for pride…Coach Kim Sang-woo

Samsung Fire head coach Kim Sang-woo explains the team’s change in mood.

Samsung Fire won the third round of the 2023-2024 Dodram V-League with a set score of 3-2 (26-24, 25-22, 20-25, 23-25, 15-13) against Woori Card at Jangchung Gymnasium in Seoul at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

It was a hard-fought battle. Samsung Fire took the first set and was in danger of losing the set at 19-24. However, Yosubani’s showtime serve won the first set 26-24. With the momentum in their favor, Samsung Chemical took the second set and hoped to clinch the three points.

However, Woori Card fought back and won both sets, sending the match to a fifth set. In the fifth set, Samsung Chemical also fell behind early, but Yosubani’s back-to-back points made it 14-13, and Kim Jun-woo’s block sealed the win.

After the match, coach Kim Sang-woo said, “We had a chance to overturn the first set and go to the fifth set. If we lost the first set, we would have lost, but on the other hand, we didn’t have to go to five sets. We have a lot of young players and we made a lot of errors, so it was a tough match.”

Samsung Fire maintained its “100% full-set win rate” by winning the fifth set. Coach Kim Sang-woo said, “It’s always disappointing, but it’s meaningful to win one match at a time. We are eager to win more points,” he said.

Samsung Fire, which had only 11 wins last season, has already won 10 games and moved up to second place in the standings. Coach Kim Sang-woo said, “We always lost a lot and had a sense of defeat, but we seem to be breaking out of that. It’s positive. The atmosphere is definitely different from last year.”

Kim shared his concerns about the center. “Our middle blocker is weak. When we have a lot of fast-ball possessions, we put in tall players, and when we go to the side, we put in fast players. We are making various preparations.”

On this day, Samsung Fire alternated between liberos Lee Sang-wook and Ahn Ji-won. Coach Kim Sang-woo said, “Ji-won made an invisible mistake. The connection was inaccurate in a chance ball situation. Sang-wook was shaky at the beginning of the match. I left the fifth set to Sang-wook, who has more experience.”

One of the main contributors to the victory was Yosvani. Yosvani completed the triple crown with 39 points, the most for both teams. He smiled in a firepower matchup with Matej with four aces, four blocks, and 14 attacks from behind the net.

“The volleyball numbers are high. Her technique is good. There are still some things that don’t match with Noh Jae-wook. Foreign players sometimes hesitate to hit hard when the ball is in front of them. It will be more helpful if he hits with more energy.”


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