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• Foolad Sirjan Iranian triumph as men’s champions of Iran for the second time

• Nearly 10 thousand fans witness Suntory Sunbirds Osaka collect their 10th men’s title in Japan

• Taraz celebrate club’s second men’s crown in Kazakhstan

• Suwon Hyundai E&C Hillstate and Incheon Korean Air Jumbos snatch titles in Korea

The domestic club volleyball seasons are coming to an end and important national trophies are being presented to their winners. Within the eight days between Sunday, 31 March, and Sunday, 7 April, four teams in Asia celebrated as national champions of their countries – Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan and Korea.


Foolad Sirjan Iranian won their second men’s title in Iran after winning both games of their best-of-three championship series against defending champions Shahdab Yazd in tie-breaker sets. Both matches were played at the Azadi Hall in Tehran. On Thursday, Foolad Sirjan produced a narrow 3-2 (26-24, 25-21, 29-25, 21-25, 16-14) victory and followed up with another hard-fought 3-2 (18-25, 30-28, 25-15, 22-25, 15-12) win on Saturday. In March’s semi-final playoffs, Foolad Sirjan knocked out Paykan Tehran in a 2-0 final score, while Shahdab were pushed to a third-game decider before overcoming Shahrdari Urmia.

Foolad Sirjan’s 36-year-old star middle blocker Seyed Mohammad Mousavi (pictured in the main photo; credits: Sara Saadat / was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the league and earned a spot on the Dream Team. He was named setter Mohammad Taher Vadi (Foolad), opposite Reza Rezaei (Shahdab), outside hitters Shahrouz Homayunfarmanesh (Foolad) and Poorya Hossein Khanzadeh (Foolad), middle blocker Masoud Gholami (Shahdab) and libero Mohammad Reza Hazratpour (Shahdab). Iran’s Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kioumars Hashemi and Volleyball Federation Islamic Republic of Iran President Milad Taghavi headlined the awarding ceremony.


The Japanese men’s V-League final was played on the last day of March in front of nearly 10 thousand fans at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo. A V-League record-breaking 9,544 spectators witnessed the match. After an epic second set, Suntory Sunbirds Osaka managed to close the game against Panasonic Panthers Hirakata in straight sets, 3-0 (25-18, 37-35, 25-19), and celebrate their 10th championship title. A day earlier, Toray Arrows Mishima claimed the bronze after a 3-2 (17-25, 25-20, 21-25, 25-22, 15-13) victory over JT Thunders Hiroshima.

Suntory’s 28-year-old setter Masaki Oya was honoured as the season’s MVP. He was joined on the Dream Team by opposite Dmitriy Muserskiy (Suntory), outside hitters Alain De Armas (Suntory) and Thomas Jaeschke (Panasonic), middle blockers Taishi Onodera (Suntory) and Kentaro Takahashi (Toray), and libero Tomohiro Yamamoto (Panasonic).

Suntory Sunbirds Osaka’s team roster


Taraz claimed the men’s title in Kazakhstan for the second time in the club’s history. The final stage of the national championship season was held in Pavlodar from 24 to 31 March. In the best-of-three final series, Taraz started with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 27-25) defeat at the hands of hosts Pavlodar on 29 March, but came back with two four-set victories – 3-1 (25-23, 25-17, 22-25, 25-23) and 3-1 (28-30, 25-21, 25-14, 25-15) – on the following two days to celebrate as champions. The bronze medals went to Esil Petropavl, who mastered two straight-set wins over Atyrau in the third-place playoff.

Taraz’s 34-year-old outside Mikhail Ustinov was recognized as the MVP of the championship, while the Dream Team was made up of setter Egor Tarasov (Esil), opposite Denis Gorbachov (Esil), outside hitters Nikita Kozlov (Pavlodar) and Ilya Marozau (Pavlodar), middle blockers Damir Akimov (Taraz) and Nodirkhan Kadirkhanov (Taraz), and libero Yerikzhan Boken (Taraz).

Taraz’s team roster


On the first day of April, Suwon Hyundai E&C Hillstate picked up their 13th title in the women’s Korean V-League. They closed the best-of-five championship series after three exciting five-set victories over Incheon Heungkuk Life Pink Spiders – the first two at home in Suwon and the third one in Incheon. On 28 March, Hyundai took the lead with a 3-2 (18-25, 14-25, 25-20, 25-20, 16-14) comeback from two sets down. They followed up with a 3-2 (23-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-17, 15-13) win two days later, and then on Monday, they secured the win with a 3-2 (22-25, 25-17, 23-25, 25-23, 15-7) victory. Hyundai advanced directly to the final as regular season winners, while Heungkuk achieved a semifinal success against Daejeon Jung Kwan Jang Red Sparks by 2-1 in wins.

Heungkuk’s 36-year-old star outside Kim Yeon-Koung was named MVP of the season. On the Dream Team she was in the company of setter Kim Da-In (Hyundai), opposite Gyselle Silva (GS Caltex Seoul KIXX), outside hitter Giovanna Day (Daejeon), middle blockers Yang Hyo-Jin (Hyundai) and Choi Jeong-Min (Hwaseong IBK Altos), and libero Yim Myung-Ok (Gimcheon Korea Expressway Hi-pass).

Suwon Hyundai E&C Hillstate’s team roster

A day after the end of the women’s league, Incheon Korean Air Jumbos lifted the men’s trophy for the fourth consecutive and fifth overall time. They also closed the championship series against Ansan OK Financial Group OKman in three matches. On 29 March, Korean Air achieved a 3-1 (22-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-18) win. They mastered a 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 29-27) sweep of the second game two days later, again at home in Incheon. Finally, on 2 April in Ansan, they survived a five-set battle to triumph after a 3-2 (27-25, 16-25, 21-25, 25-20, 15-13) victory. As regular season winners, Jumbos qualified straight to the final playoff, while Ansan finished third and had to go through a five-set quarterfinal match against Cheonan Hyundai Capital Skywalkers and a two-match semifinal series (3-2 and 3-0) against regular season runners-up Seoul Wooricard Woori Won, who settled with the bronze.

Ansan’s 34-year-old Cuban striker Leonardo Leyva Martinez was nominated as MVP of the season and opposite of the Dream Team. The symbolic seven also included setter Han Tae-Jun (Wooricard), outside hitters Yosvany Hernandez Cardonell (Daejeon Samsung Bluefangs) and Heo Su-Bong (Hyundai), middle blockers Shin Yung-Suk (Suwon KEPCO Vixtorm) and Lee Sang-Hyeon (Wooricard), and libero Ryohei Iga (Suwon).

Incheon Korean Air Jumbos’ team roster


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