Bluefangs place No. 1 in volleyball tournamentThe first professional volleyball championship has been won by the Samsung Bluefangs, which beat the Hyundai Capital SkyWalkers, the seasonal league winner, 3 to 1 in the fourth game of the championship tournament held at Chungmu Stadium in Daejeon on Sunday.
The Samsung Bluefangs, which had won the winter leagues eight consecutive times, had three wins and one loss in total out of the best of five series.
The most valuable player award went to Kim Se-jin, 31, who scored 10 points alone in the first set, which Samsung dominated, while Hyundai Capital’s main player Who In-jung contributed four points. Kim scored 29 points in total.
Samsung continued to lead Hyundai in the second set, 14-11 and 20-17, but Park Chul-woo, who substituted for Who during the set, overwhelmed the opposition by scoring 21 points.
With an unreserved attack by Park, the two sides exchanged serves repeatedly but finally, Hyundai Capital won the second set 26-24, tying the score 1-1.
The third set was a fierce duel also with Park and his colleague Chang Young-gi, who scored 22 points in total, attacking from left and right, while for Samsung Kim and Shin Jin-sik counterattacked. Samsung had a slight edge over Hyundai, winning the third set 25-23.
In the fourth set, Samsung trailed Hyundai 19-21, but Samsung’s Son Jae-hong scored two straight points and Kim scored another to finish the game.
After the game, Samsung Bluefangs manager Shin Chi-yong said, “There is a good reason to keep these older players [including Kim Se-jin].” Mr. Shin said the team is going for 10 consecutive wins.
The Samsung Bluefangs dominated the volleyball court for the last eight years, but they lost to Hyundai Capital SkyWalkers in the opening game of the first pro season as well as the regular season.
Helped by more experienced players like Kim, Shin and Kim Sang-woo, Samsung reversed this to its advantage. Kim Se-jin scored 86 points during the four championship games.
by Shin Dong-jae, Limb Jae-un
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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