V League pulls out all the stops as All-Star game returns
The V League held its first All-Star match in two years on Sunday at Pepper Stadium in Gwangju.
After the last two All-Star matches were canceled due to Covid-19, the 2,679 tickets for this year's event sold out in less than one minute on Thursday, demonstrating fans’ eagerness to be part of the volleyball festivities.
The annual All-Star match divides the top players into two teams, K-Star and V-Star based on their previous season's performance. Players from the clubs that ranked first, third and fifth last year join the K-Star team, while players from the teams that came in at second, fourth, sixth and seventh join the V-Star team.
The All-Star match was played in three sets, with the women’s teams competing in the first set, a mixed team playing the second set and the men’s teams playing the third set.
This season, the women’s clubs of the K-Star team were GS Caltex Seoul Kixx, Industrial Bank of Korea Altos and Korea Ginseng Corporation. They teamed up with the men’s clubs; the Incheon Korean Air Jumbos, Ansan OK Financial Group Okman and Suwon KEPCO Vixtorm.
The Heungkuk Life Insurance Pink Spiders, Korea Expressway Corporation Hi-pass, Hyundai Engineering & Construction Hillstate and Pepper Savings Bank AI Peppers of the women’s V League together with the men's Cheonan Hyundai Capital Skywalkers, Daejeon Samsung Bluefangs, Uijeongbu KB Insurance Stars and Seoul Woori Card Wibee made up the V-Star team.
K-Star emerged victorious, beating V-Star two sets to one, but as with all All-Star games, the match was more about celebrating the sport than competition.
Players exuberantly celebrated after scoring each point, with coaches, referees and sometimes celebrities coming on the court to play. Volleyball star Kim Yeon-koung, who has returned to Korea after rounding off her season in China, also made a surprise appearance to watch the match on Sunday, adding to the excitement of the event.
The men’s and women’s V League will resume on Friday, when the Pink Spiders face Hyundai Hillstate and Woori Card face Hyundai Capital.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]