Women’s volleyball loses shutout to Canada…second straight VNL loss

The South Korean women’s national volleyball team has lost two straight matches in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL). They were swept by Canada, the favorite to win the tournament.

South Korea fell to Canada in straight sets 0-3 (17-25, 16-25, 18-25) in the second match of Week 1 of the 2023 VNL in Antalya, Turkey on Sunday (Feb. 2). The 0-3 loss in Turkkiye was the second straight for South Korea.

Despite the absence of Canadian ace Kiera van Rijk due to a personal matter, middle blocker Lane van Buskirk scored a team-high 18 points. Canada held a whopping 10-2 advantage in blocks and a 3-1 advantage in service points. Korea was led by Kim Mi-yeon (Heungkuk Life) with eight points and Park Jung-ah (Pepper Savings Bank) with seven points.

South Korea started the first set with the same lineup as in Turkiye. Outside hitters Park Jung-ah and Kang So-hwi (GS Caltex), setter Yeom Hye-sun (KGC Ginseng Corporation), middle blockers Lee Ju-ah (Heungkuk Life) and Lee Da-hyun, outside hitter Jung Ji-yoon (Hyundai E&C), and libero Shin Yeon-kyung (IBK) started.

In the first set, Korea started off with a 2-1 lead, but the players’ positions overlapped one after another, resulting in consecutive errors. Although they were able to receive the serve, Yeom Hye-sun and the attackers were not in sync.

Coach Cesar Gonzalez Hernandez called for a stronger serve, but it didn’t work. Canada’s main gun, Alexa Gray, had a targeted serve, but she held on. Instead, the Koreans committed four unforced errors and kept giving Van Busskirk fast balls and mobile attacks. Korea made a change by bringing in Kim Dain (Hyundai E&C) and Moon Ji-yoon (GS Caltex) in a double switch, but they were unable to hold on and lost the first set.

In the second set, Korea put Kim Mi-yeon in first. Kim Mi-yeon attacked and Jung Ji-yoon blocked to take a 2-1 lead. However, two consecutive positional errors allowed them to fall behind 3-4. The deflated Koreans faltered in reception and fell behind 5-10.

Korea brought in Moon Jung-won (Roadworks) and Pyo Seung-joo (IBK) to stabilize the reception. However, they were unable to get an effective block and gave their opponents easy points. In the end, they lost the second set by a large margin.

Korea made another change in the third set. They started with Park Eun-jin (KGC Ginseng Corporation), Moon Ji-yoon, Kim Mi-yeon, Pyo Seung-ju, Kim Da-in, and Lee Ju-ah. Kim Mi-yeon’s attack gave Korea a 6-5 lead, but the Canadian blockers were accurate and the Korean blocking wall was easily breached. In the end, Korea lost without earning a single point.

메이저놀이터 Korea was weakened by the departure of Kim Yeon-kyung and Yang Hyo-jin, who were not ready for the international tournament. Cesar Gonzalez Hernandez, who also coaches Turkiye Bakifbank, joined the team locally after the earthquake, as the league finished late and he was unable to participate in the domestic call-up training.

However, there were many gaps in blocking, and various attempts to attack from behind and fast breaks were unsuccessful. The team collapsed helplessly, unable to exert any organizational power. Libero-turned-liberos Moon Jung-won and Kim Mi-yeon tried their best, but it wasn’t enough. South Korea will play the third match against the United States at 11 p.m. on Wednesday.

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