Volleyball team drops first Olympics game to Brazil
The Korean women's volleyball team lost its first game of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to Brazil in three straight sets on Sunday evening.
Team Korea had Kim Yeon-koung as captain with Yeum Hye-son, Kim Hee-jin, Oh Ji-young, Kim Su-ji, Park Jeong-ah and Yang Hyo-jin in the starting line-up.
Korea opening the scoring at the beginning of the game with two errors from the Brazilian side, but 24 minutes later, Korea dropped the first set a little too easy, losing 25-10.
The second round also didn't go Korea's way, but the team was able to trail the South American powerhouse by just one or two points throughout the set, with Yang Hyo-jin scoring Korea’s first block point at 20-17.
The tide seemed have shifted to the Korean side as the point difference closed to a one-point difference at 20-19, and then to a 22-22 tie.
The Brazilians rallied to take the score to 24-20 and Korea requested a time out.
Despite putting put a hard fight, the second set ended 25-22, lacking blocks and a strong defense.
Korea played a strong game in the third set, taking an early 3-1 lead before the Brazilian quickly caught up to a 10-10 tie.
At 14-12, Yang pulled out another great block and an attack error brought the score bacjk to a 14-14 tie once again.
At 16-14, the referee blew his whistle indicating that the ball had touched the floor, but the decision was overturned by the VAR, showing that Park had pulled off a pancake dig, dropping her hand flat on the ground to save the ball.
The VAR nullified Brazil’s 17th point and the score went to 16-14. After many attempts to narrow the gap, the third set finished 25-19 after 31 minutes, Korea losing the first match of the round robin.
Korea had only three blocks compared to Brazil’s 10, but had better reception.
Kim Yeon-koung scored the most for Team Korea, making 12 points.
Despite losing three sets in a row, Korea put up a good fight against Brazil, as the country had finished the Volleyball Nations League as runner-up in June where Korea finished second to last.
Kim Yeon-koung, Kim Hee-jin and Yang are now three-time Olympians and Kim Su-ji, Yeum and Park are now two-time Olympians.
Kim Su-ji and Kim Hee-jin did not play at the Volleyball Nations League that was held through May to June due to injuries but returned to the squad represent Korea on the big stage.
Korea is in Pool A alongside Japan, Serbia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Kenya. During the round robin, Korea plays all five countries in the same pool with the top four advancing to the quarterfinals.
Korea will next face Kenya at 9:45 p.m. on Tuesday, then the Dominican Republic at 11:05 a.m. on Thursday.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [email@example.com]