Hillstate win in straight sets against Altos, extending streak to 5

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Hillstate win in straight sets against Altos, extending streak to 5

Yang Hyo-jin of Suwon Hyundai Engineering & Construction Hillstate, left, attacks against Industrial Bank of Korea Altos on Sunday at Suwon Gymnasium in Suwon, Gyeonggi. [YONHAP]

Yang Hyo-jin of Suwon Hyundai Engineering & Construction Hillstate, left, attacks against Industrial Bank of Korea Altos on Sunday at Suwon Gymnasium in Suwon, Gyeonggi. [YONHAP]

 
Suwon Hyundai Engineering & Construction Hillstate are the team to beat, prevailing over Industrial Bank of Korea Altos in straight sets on Sunday to extend their winning streak to five straight matches.
 
Hillstate have been dominating the women’s V League 2021-22 season. Hillstate’s win on Sunday was the club’s 17th of the season, having dropped just one match against Korea Expressway Corporation Hi-pass on Dec. 7.
 
Sunday’s match was won in only three sets: 25-20, 25-20, 25-22. The clean win was Hillstate’s ninth shutout victory this season. Only one of Hillstate's matches went on to five sets, the opponent being the newest addition to the women's V League: Pepper Savings Bank AI Peppers.
 
The top player of Sunday’s match across both teams was Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani of Hillstate, who scored 20 points, and the second-highest scorer was Yang Hyo-jin, who scored 16 points.
 
Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani of Hillstate attacks against Industrial Bank of Korea Altos on Sunday at Suwon Gymnasium in Suwon, Gyeonggi. [NEWS1]

Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani of Hillstate attacks against Industrial Bank of Korea Altos on Sunday at Suwon Gymnasium in Suwon, Gyeonggi. [NEWS1]

Yang Hyo-jin of Suwon Hyundai Engineering & Construction Hillstate, left, attacks against Industrial Bank of Korea Altos on Sunday at Suwon Gymnasium in Suwon, Gyeonggi. [NEWS1]

Yang Hyo-jin of Suwon Hyundai Engineering & Construction Hillstate, left, attacks against Industrial Bank of Korea Altos on Sunday at Suwon Gymnasium in Suwon, Gyeonggi. [NEWS1]

 
Yang is best known for her blocking prowess and currently tops the standings for blocks, with an average of 0.8 blocks per set. Yang at one point topped the board for the most blocks for 11 consecutive seasons. Last season, however, Yang's block form diminished and the whole club took a blow, finishing at the bottom of the standings.
 
The women’s V League and veteran player Yang have been popular for some time among fans, but they have been seeing quite an increase in attention thanks to the women’s national team’s fourth-place finish at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games.
 
Yang turned professional in 2007, debuting with Hillstate, and has been playing with the club ever since.
 
When the franchise star's block form wavered last season, Han Song-yi of Daejeon KGC took the top seat while Yang sunk to fifth in the number of blocks.
 
Jeong Ji-yun of Suwon Hyundai Engineering & Construction Hillstate, right, receives the ball at a match against Industrial Bank of Korea Altos on Sunday at Suwon Gymnasium in Suwon, Gyeonggi. [NEWS1]

Jeong Ji-yun of Suwon Hyundai Engineering & Construction Hillstate, right, receives the ball at a match against Industrial Bank of Korea Altos on Sunday at Suwon Gymnasium in Suwon, Gyeonggi. [NEWS1]

 
Recovering from last season, Hillstate started out this season on the top of their game, winning their first 12 matches consecutively. However, Korea Expressway Corporation Hi-pass cut that winning streak short, beating the top club 3-2 on Dec. 7.  Hillstate quickly bounced back, winning their next two matches to strengthen their solo lead on the standings. Hillstate took a 3-1 victory over runner-up Seoul GS Caltex Kixx on Dec. 11, then beat the Pink Spiders 3-0 on Dec. 14. The wins kept piling on, widening the gap between runners-up Hi-pass who have 13 wins and four losses.
 
However, Hi-pass are leading a successful season of their own, having won their last nine matches in a row, tying the club’s longest winning streak. Hi-pass will face Korea Ginseng Corporation on Tuesday, looking to achieve what they were unable to do until now and reach 10 consecutive wins for the first time in the club’s history.

BY YUN SO-HYANG [yun.sohyang@joongang.co.kr]
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