CAPTAIN MOON LEADS THE WAY AS KOREANS BREAK THE DROUGHT
Seoul, South Korea, June 17, 2018 – South Korea broke through for their first FIVB Volleyball Nations League victory on Sunday, cruising past China 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-22) as captain Moon Sung-Min led his team with 20 points.
For the home fans the wait must have almost seemed eternal – as Korea lost their first 11 VNL games – but the players turned their form around during their fourth-round trip to the capital’s Jangchung Gym. They lost a five-set thriller 3-2 to Italy on Saturday afternoon and then came Sunday and – finally – victory.
Opposite spiker Moon was the star – with his tally including 18 spikes and two blocks – but he was ably supported by wing spikers Jung Jiseok (18 points) and Song Myung-Geun (11 points). Song was in fine form from beyond the service lines, picking up three points by varying his pace as the Korean outscored China in aces 6-0.
There wasn’t must joy for China during this fourth round as the loss on Sunday made it 0-3 in Korea and 0-6 overall in the VNL. Coach Raul Lozano brought their star wing spiker Chuan Jiang back into the line-up after a day’s rest, and he duly led the way in the losing effort with 17 points. Middle blocker Chen Longhai chipped in with six points but only saw one of 11 block attempts come off.
Local media were quick to capture the sights of pure delight both on court and in the stands when the final point came – and the Koreans will now look to build on there efforts at home when they head off to the final round of matches in Tehran from June 22.
The Koreans round out their campaign against hosts Iran, Germany and Bulgaria.
Korea coach Kim Hochul: “It has been so hard to lead the team but I believe that the Korean players will do better as time goes on. We are now experiencing the flow of world volleyball. I try to change our team by practicing a lot because our players play differently in their club team.”
Korea captain Moon Sungmin: “It was our last match in Korea and every player is eager to get the first victory. Everyone played with one mind to get a good result. Some players are not in good physical condition but I thank them for playing hard.”
China coach Raul Lozano: “Congratulations to Team Korea and coach Kim Hochul. Korea did well on service and we did not do well on service reception. That was the difference. We were nervous, our attack and attitude were not in good condition.”
China captain Ji Daoshuai: “We did well at first. However, when there is a close game, we couldn’t overcome the pressure. Korea won because they overcame the pressure and we had younger player. Korea had a better game today.”
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