Ruse, Bulgaria, July 7, 2017 – Led by Kim Heejin and Kim Yeon Koung Korea overcame a one-set deficit to defeat Germany by 3-1 (19-25, 25-25-23, 25-18, 25-23) in the opening match in Pool A2 in FIVB World Grand Prix.
Yeon Koung Kim was the top scorer for the winners, with 20 points, while Kim Heejin contributed 15 points. Germany’s Louisa Lippmann finished the match with 23 points.
Germany started the opening set with a lot of confidence and scored six points in a row to go 6-0 up. Korea tried to come back but with good serving and blocking, but the Europeans managed to win the set by 25-19. Louisa Lippmann was the most dangerous player in the Germany squad and contributed 7 points.
Despite the tough first set Korea started to play better and better in the second set and won it by 25-23. The Asians didn’t make easy mistakes in reception and led by Kim Heejin and their superstar Kim Yeon Koung who were absolutely perfect in the key moments of the set they made a great come back. Captain Kim Yeon Koung scored the last point in the set with great diagonal spike.
Another great spike on the line by Kim Yeon Koung against huge double German block marked the most exciting moment in the third set to make it 23-15. And just like in the previous set the captain Yeon Koung was the preferred choice for the Korean setter in the last point as she finished it with technical spike. Germany started to play better in the fourth set and the Europeans were one point ahead by 14-13. In the next minutes Korea took the right decisions in the difficult moments and closed out the match after 25-23 in the fourth set.
Kim Yeon Koung, captain of Korea – Today, for us it was the first official match of this year. In the beginning it was really difficult because we couldn’t find our rhythm in the first minutes. In the next sets we started to improve our game but still we need to be better in a lot of things. Especially in defense, serve, attack and I hope tomorrow to play better than today.
Kim Su Ji, player of Korea – Our serve was really good after the first set. We managed to reduce the unforced errors and we won. Tomorrow will be really hard because we will face the hosts. They are a really strong team with good players especially the outside-spikers and middle-blockers. So we must prepare in the best way and if we want to achieve a good result we should play better on defense and serve. We will try to do our best and I hope to win.
Felix Koslowski, coach of Germany – We had a good start. We played well in the opening set but after that we made some mistakes. And if I should be honest we just couldn’t manage to stop their best player Kim Yeon Koung. She was their preferred choice in the difficult moments and she was in the right place to score the important points. But after all I can say that, okay we lost today, but this is only the first match. I’m a little bit sad now but tomorrow we have a new match and new chance to win.
Lenka Dürr, libero of Germany – We played well in the first set. Maybe in the end Korea started to improve their performance. In the second set our energy on the court was not so good. In serve we didn’t manage to put their reception under pressure. They did it and deserved the victory. Now we should think about tomorrow and our next match with Kazakhstan. Another unknown team for us. We will watch video tonight and I hope to play better in defense and we will see what happens.
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