Daejeon attackers sweep MVP awards
Two foreign attackers in Daejeon proved that they are the Korea Professional Volleyball League’s best as the Korea Volleyball Federation (KOVO) wrapped up its scandal-plagued season with individual awards yesterday.
At the Jangchung Gymnasium in central Seoul, Canadian Gavin Schmitt of the Daejeon Samsung Fire Bluefangs and Colombian Madelyanne Montano of the Daejeon Korea Ginseng Corporation were named the most valuable players for this season.
Schmitt received 16 votes from 22 KOVO-registered reporters, edging teammate Yeo Oh-hyun and Martin Nemec of the Incheon Korean Air Jumbos. Montano swept with all 20 votes and easily beat Hyundai E&C Hillstate center Yang Hyo-jin, who was the top blocker in the V-League for the third season in a row.
Both Schmitt and Montano showed dominant offensive power in the league throughout the season. While taking the top scoring title, the two players also led their clubs to win the championship title. Both also took home the postseason MVP awards as well.
Schmitt had amassed 1,112 points with a 59.27 percent attacking success rate in 34 regular season matches, taking the top scoring position for the third consecutive season. In the championship series against the Jumbos, he averaged 37.8 points with an attack success rate of 55.1 percent.
The 26-year-old has now become the first player to win the MVP twice. His first one came in the 2009-10 season. Schmitt wasn’t present at the award ceremony since he was in Canada, but sent a video message of appreciation for the honor.
Colombian attacker Montano more or less performed like Schmitt in the women’s league.
The 29-year-old won her first V-League season MVP after 1,076 points in 29 regular season matches.
Montano was the first female player in V-League history to pass 1,000 points in a single season. She also finished first in open attacks, back attacks and attacking success rate, at 50.69 percent.
The Rookie of the Year award went to Choi Hong-suk of the Seoul Dream Six. He was ninth in scoring (490 points) and 14th in blocks (0.174 per set) after playing in all 34 regular season matches. The 24-year-old received 12 votes to get ahead of ribero Bu Yong-chan of the Gumi LIG Insurance Greaters and Seo Jae-duk of Suwon Kepco 45.
Choi, last year’s No. 1 draft pick, said that he hopes the club will find a sponsor for next season. The Dream Six is currently managed by KOVO after financial problems with Woori Capital.
“I want to thank my coach and teammates who went through difficult times,” Choi said. “I will try my best to become the leader and hopefully we will get a good sponsor next season.”
In the women’s division, two rookies from Hwaseong IBK Altos competed for the Best Rookie award. Park Jung-ah smiled in the end with 16 votes as teammate Kim Hee-jin received only six.
Park, 19, was sixth in serves (0.414 per set) and 11th in scoring (305 points). She was also included on the national team roster for the Olympic qualifiers next month.
There was no surprise for the Best Coach award as Shin Chi-yong of the Bluefangs and Park Sam-yong of the KGC took the honor.
This season’s award ceremony was divided into two parts and was open to the public for free. While the first part was covered with an awards ceremony, the KOVO arranged a second part of the show with charity bazaars, auctions and autograph sessions.
By Joo Kyung-don [firstname.lastname@example.org]