Korea continue disastrous run at Volleyball Nations League
Korea's winless run at the 2022 Volleyball Nations League (VNL) continues with a three-set loss to the Dominican Republic on Wednesday.
With the loss on Wednesday, the Korean women's volleyball team have now lost their first five matches, every single one in three straight sets, at the 2022 VNL.
On Wednesday, the Dominican Republic took the three sets, 25-21, 25-17, 25-13. Despite having two more blocks than the Dominican Republic, with Korea having eight to the opposing side's six, the Dominican Republic had more attacks and digs. The Dominican Republic had 41 attacks and 40 digs while Korea had 28 attacks and 25 digs.
The best scorer for the Dominican Republic was Peña Isabel, who added 22 points, while the best scorer for Korea was Jung Ho-young with 10 points.
This is Jung's first season in the Volleyball Nations League, as is the case for 15 other members of the 25-woman national team.
This year's Volleyball Nations League was always going to be a harder outing for Korea than last season with the absence of veterans Kim Yeon-koung, Kim Su-ji and Yang Hyo-jin from the squad.
The revamped Korean national volleyball team jetted off on May 31 to start their 2022 Volleyball Nations League season with a very different squad as the three veterans all retired from the national team last year after competing at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games.
Only nine players in the 2022 squad — Lee Da-hyeon, Yeum Hye-seon, Han Da-hye, An Hye-jin, Park Eun-jin, Park Jeong-ah, Jeong Ji-yun, Kim Hee-jin and Pyo Seung-ju — have played the 2021 Volleyball Nations League.
Not only was there a change to the roster, Korea started the new VNL season with a new man at the helm. Korea is playing the 2022 season under new head coach Cesar Hernandez Gonzalez, who was appointed head coach in October last year for a three-year term from 2022 to 2024. He was an assistant coach under former head coach Stefano Lavarini from 2019 to 2021. The Volleyball Nations League is Gonzalez's debut with the team.
Korea best VNL result was a 12th-place finish at the inaugural 2018 tournament. In 2019 and last year, they finished second-to-last.
While last year's VNL was played in a bubble with all matches held in Rimini, Italy, the 2022 VNL returned to its original format where 16 countries compete in a round robin across six cities around the world.
Korea opened the tournament at Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana with a tough game against Japan on June 2, losing all three sets — 25-17, 25-16 and 25-15.
On June 3, Korea put up a better fight in the first set against Germany, losing the first set only 25-22, but dropped the next two 25-15 and 25-16.
Then on June 4, Korea once again was defeated in three straight sets by Poland. Korea gave up the first set 25-9 then put up a formidable fight in the second set that ended 25-23, but dropped the last set 25-11. On June 5, Canada beat Korea 25-21, 25-13 and 25-16.
Korea has now moved to Brazil and as of press time, Korea will next face Serbia on Thursday, local time, in Brasilia, Brazil, or at 3 a.m. Friday in Korea.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]