V League sets up battle of the ages with millennial vs. Gen Z All-Star game

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V League sets up battle of the ages with millennial vs. Gen Z All-Star game

2022-23 Dodram V League All-Star game emblem. [KOREA VOLLEYBALL FEDERATION]

2022-23 Dodram V League All-Star game emblem. [KOREA VOLLEYBALL FEDERATION]

 
The 2022-23 V League All-Star game will be held at Samsan World Gymnasium in Incheon on Sunday.
 
The Korea Volleyball Federation (KOVO) announced last week that the All-Star game will take an unusual form this year, with millennial and Gen Z teams facing off for the first time.
 
In the men's All-Star squads, the M-Star team will consist of players born in 1995 or earlier, and the Z-Star team includes players born after 1995. The women's All-Star game takes the same format, but the cut off year is 1996, not 1995.
 
Kim Yeon-koung in action during a V League game against Suwon Hyundai Engineering & Construction Hillstate at Samsan World Gymnasium in Incheon on Jan. 11. [NEWS1]

Kim Yeon-koung in action during a V League game against Suwon Hyundai Engineering & Construction Hillstate at Samsan World Gymnasium in Incheon on Jan. 11. [NEWS1]

 
The female M-Star team will be led by the queen of Korean volleyball herself Kim Yeon-koung alongside big names including Kim Hee-jin and Kim Su-ji of the Hwaseong IBK Altos and Yang Hyo-jin from league leaders Suwon Hyundai Engineering & Construction Hillstate.  
 
More years of playing the sport will not make the game easy for the female M-Star team though, as the Z-Star squad includes the league’s highest scorer Elizabet Inneh Varga of Daejeon Korea Ginseng Corporation and Lee Da-hyeon from Hillstate, Lee Ju-ah of the Incheon Heungkuk Life Pink Spiders and Kang So-hwi from the GS Caltex Seoul KIXX.
 
The M-Star team will be coached by Hillstate head coach Kang Seong-hyeong, while the younger group will be led by the Pink Spider’s interim head coach Kim Dae-kyung.
 
Over in the male camp the most notable member of the M-Star team is Leonardo Leyva Martinez of the Ansan OK Financial Group OKMan, who is the highest scorer in the men’s V League this season.
 
Leyva Martinez will likely score a number of points alongside Na Gyeong-Bok of Seoul Woori Card WooriWon and Han Sun-soo of the Incheon Korean Air Jumbos, while Shin Yung-suk of Suwon Korea Electric Power Corporation Vixtorm will be in charge of the team’s defense.  
 
Shin Yung-suk celebrates after scoring a point at a V League game between Suwon Korea Electric Power Corporation Vixtorm and the Incheon Korean Air Jumbos at Suwon Gymnasium in Suwon, Gyeonggi on Dec. 8, 2022.  [YONHAP]

Shin Yung-suk celebrates after scoring a point at a V League game between Suwon Korea Electric Power Corporation Vixtorm and the Incheon Korean Air Jumbos at Suwon Gymnasium in Suwon, Gyeonggi on Dec. 8, 2022. [YONHAP]

 
The male Z-Star team will face the older group with Ahmed Ikhbayri of the Daejeon Samsung Fire Bluefangs and Heo Soo-bong of the Cheonan Hyundai Capital Skywalkers. They will be backed up by a trio of stars born in 1999: Lim Dong-hyeok of the Air Jumbos, Lim Sung-jin of Vixtorm and Kim Ji-han of Woori Card.  
 
The Jumbos’ head coach Tommi Tiilikainen will lead the male Z-Star team, while the younger group will be coached by the Skywalkers head coach Choi Tea-Woong.  
 
The All-Star game will be played as one long four-set contest with 15 points each set. The female teams will play the first and second quarters and the male teams will play the rest.  
 
There will be an awards ceremony before the match for Kim Yeon-koung and Shin Yung-suk, who topped the fan vote.

BY PAIK JI-HWAN [paik.jihwan@joongang.co.kr]
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