South Korea, led by head coach Cesar Hernandez Gonzalez, finished Week 1 of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League 2023 (VNL) in Antalya, Turkey, with a 4-0 record. The team suffered shutout losses to Canada, USA, and Thailand. Of the 16 teams in the tournament, only 메이저놀이터 South Korea and Croatia have not taken a set. After going 12-0 in the VNL last year, South Korea has now lost 16 straight matches in the tournament.
This was expected, but it’s even worse than expected. The team is in the midst of a generational transition. Outside hitter Kim Yeon-kyung (Heungkuk Life) and middle blockers Yang Hyo-jin (Hyundai E&C) and Kim Soo-ji (Heungkuk Life) hung up their caps after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (to be held in 2021). Minimizing the gap left by Kim Yeon-kyung, a key part of the offense, has been a top priority.
There is no clear solution yet. Captain and experienced outside hitter Park Jung-ah (Pepper Savings Bank) has totaled just 27 points in four games at the tournament. That’s 63rd among all players in the tournament. It was the most on the team, but it wasn’t enough to help them win. Outside hitter Pyo Seung-ju (IBK) followed with 24 points.
Coach Cesar has a lot to answer for. He was not able to give his full attention to the Korean national team as he was also coaching Turkiye Bakifbank. He didn’t even attend the national training camp in Jincheon. Newly appointed coach Han Yumi and advisor Kim Yeon-kyung helped the players. Cesar was only available via video call. There wasn’t enough time to work with the players in person before the tournament.
The first priority is to end the losing streak quickly. César will travel to Brazil for the second week of matches. They will face Brazil on Friday, Japan on Saturday, Croatia on Sunday, and Germany on Monday. Currently, Brazil is in fifth place in the tournament (10 points, 3-1-1), Japan is in sixth place (9 points, 3-1-1), and Germany is in seventh place (8 points, 3-1-1). South Korea’s only chance for a first win comes against Croatia, who are in a similar situation.