Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023

KGC Ginseng has advanced to the semifinals of the 2023 Gumi Dodram Cup professional volleyball tournament in Gumi, Gyeongbuk, with a second-place finish in Group A.스포츠토토

For KGC Ginseng, the final preliminary match against Pepper Savings Bank on Sunday was crucial. A shutout win would have secured their place in the main draw regardless of the next match. However, we lost the first set helplessly. Fortunately, we found our form in the second set.

With Park Eun-jin in the center, the team won the set 3-1 (14-25, 25-10, 25-18, 25-19). Hyundai E&C won the next game to secure their ticket to the quarterfinals.

In the match, Park scored 15 points with three blocks and one ace, and her 68.75% attack percentage was the highest on the team. After the match, Park said, “It was an important match to decide whether we will reach the semifinals or not. I’m glad we were able to win and take a step forward.”

In the first set, KGC Ginseng had a shaky start. The team’s offensive efficiency dropped to -13.79%, and they only scored six offensive points. “We were very nervous, so the volleyball we played didn’t come out. After the set, we talked about letting go of our nerves and playing volleyball that we enjoy.”

During the timeout, there were some rarely seen scenes. KGC Ginseng head coach Ko Hee-jin ordered her players to run. “I could see that the players were so nervous that their feet didn’t fall. If we lose our rhythm here, it will be like the first game,” he explained.

Park Eun-jin agreed, saying, “I could feel that the coach wanted us to run to release our nerves. We were able to catch our breath while running.”

From the second set onward, the team used more mobile attacks and had a good success rate, converting seven out of nine attempts in the match. “I talked to (Yeom) Hye-sun about using our speed and hitting quickly. The coach asked me to hit responsibly because when we attacked on the move, there were one to one and a half people blocking, so I tried to hit responsibly,” she said.

During the interview, Park’s voice was full of confidence, but it was also full of longing for an unrealized goal. Park has yet to play a professional spring volleyball match since her debut in the 2018-2019 season. Last season, she had to swallow the disappointment of missing the semi-playoffs by one point.

For the upcoming 2023-2024 season, she’s determined to make it happen. “My big goal is to win a championship beyond spring volleyball. Last year, we didn’t make the playoffs because we didn’t play well enough. So this year, my small goal is to make sure we don’t have any disappointing games early on. I want to accomplish the small goal and then the big goal,” she said, clenching her fist.

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