Seoul, Korea, June 3, 2017 – Tine Urnaut scored a team-high 23 points as Slovenia beat Korea 3-1 (25-23, 23-25 25-14 25-23 ) to continue their winning streak since their opening match of the World League Group 2 on Saturday.
Although Korea’s quick attack and persistent defense handed them one set, Slovenia blocked Korea’s speed with their height and strength to stretched their win to two in a row.
Korea and Slovenia each won one match the other day so Sunday ‘s match was important for both sides because it would decide which team would take the first place in the Pool. The keen concentration and determination of both teams’ players until the end of the game proved this.
Slovenia came from behind and took the first set 25-23 by persistently fighting till the end.
Korea never lost the lead until 23-23. Slovenia reached set point first as their lucky service hit the top of the net and the ball dropped straight down into Korea’s court. With scores read 24-23, Slovenia finished the set with blocking point by using their height advantage and incredible high jump.
Going down one set, Korea still performed well to focus on defence to win the second set 25-23. The game went close until the middle of the set when Slovenia scored consecutively. Jung Jiseok’s superb spikes rocketed towards the Slovenia’s court at crucial moments in the set and Korea took the lead again 23-21 and went on to win the set 25-23.
The third set was dominated by Slovenia, which maintained the lead 18-9 as Korea’s attacks were constantly blocked by Slovenia’s blockers.
Mitja Gasparini, currently playing in Korea’s Professional Volleyball League fired canon balls to his once team members. The set ended 14-25 with Urnaut Tine scoring most points.
The fourth set was a close match but Slovenia took the win. Choi Hong-suk’s strong attacks slammed into Slovenia’s court. The two teams took turns taking the points until the end. Slovenia took the last set 23-25 after fierce exchange of points with Korea.
After the match, Lee Sun-Kyu, captain of Korea said: “Korea won Saturday’s game and we kept on the good flow. But Slovenia were way ahead of us in terms of height and power. One good thing about today’s game is that our young players were able to accumulate experience.”
Jung Jiseok, player of Korea: “Slovenia were better than Czech Republic. The fact that we could not grasp the chances when they arrived was the key reason why we lost.”
Tine Urnaut, captain of Slovenia: “I’m very happy that we won this game even though it was a tough one. Our new coach did a good job. However, we still need to improve our upcoming matches.
All in all, i’m happy that we won even if we were behind in the first and fourth set. We changed the flow and that is how we could win the game. Korean team did a really good job. I think the coach has a lot of experience from high-level volleyball. The Korean players are young but they played very well.
Kim Hochul, coach of Korea: “Slovenia were taller than expected. Our players were not accustomed to Slovenia’s height and this resulted in the loss. Slovenia are one of the strong European teams
so they used their height well. It was a disappointing match for us.”
Kovac Slobodan, coach of Slovenia: “First, congratulations to Korea for good performance. At first we were slow to play our full game. We made 22 blocks and this is a superb performance. But then Korea surprised us at the start of the match by making the players rotation. They surprised us with new players in the court even though we studied Korean players’ tactics. Nonetheless, our players showed great performance which resulted in our victory.”
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