GS Caltex sweep Pink Spiders for first ever KOVO treble
The GS Caltex Seoul KIXX swept the Heungkuk Life Insurance Pink Spiders in three games to win the V League Championship title, achieving the first ever treble in women’s professional volleyball history.
The KIXX beat the Pink Spiders at Gyeyang Stadium in Incheon on Tuesday, three sets to two. The KIXX dominated throughout the series, beating the Pink Spiders in Game 1 and 2 to sweep the tournament.
With yesterday’s win in Game 3, the KIXX took all three games of the best-of-five championship series, conceding just two sets throughout the tournament, both in Game 3.
The KIXX started the game strong, appearing to cement their victory early on in the game as they smashed through the Pink Spiders for the first two sets. It wasn't until the third set that Kim Yeon-koung, star player and captain of the Pink Spiders, came back strong despite struggling with a hand injury, adding 27 points and prolonging the game all the way to a final fifth set.
Ultimately, the KIXX’s teamwork won the day, with the Pink Spiders unable to respond to the triangle formation of American star Merete Lutz, Lee So-young and So-Hwi Kang.
After the win, Lutz and Lee were jointly named MVP.
The Pink Spiders were expected to dominate this season with the return of Korean volleyball legend Kim and the addition of Lee Da-young, joining her twin sister Lee Jae-young on the squad. The Spiders were firmly in the lead until the middle of the season.
However, a series of scandals including injuries and substitutions led to the team seeing both of its star twin players banned and its shot at the trophy quickly disappear.
While the Pink Spiders dealt with drama both on and off the court, the KIXX concentrated on one thing — winning. The Seoul club came from behind to win the regular V League title, and have now cemented that success in the playoffs.
GS Caltex also won the 2020 KOVO Cup, a separate tournament held before the V League begins, making them the first team in Korean women's volleyball history to sweep all three tournaments and win KOVO's first ever treble.
The KOVO followed Covid-19 guidelines throughout the regular season and playoffs, allowing only 10 percent of seats to be filled for the championship game and enforcing strict Covid-19 prevention measures.
With the 2020-2021 season coming to an end, athletes and coaches will start preparing for the next season which will start with the KOVO Cup in August at Uijeongbu Gymnasium in Gyeonggi.
BY YUN SO-HYANG, JIM BULLEY [email@example.com]