South Korea’s women’s volleyball team was swept in its final match after showing the limits of its physical strength.
The South Korean women’s volleyball team (ranked 38th in the world), led by head coach Cesar Hernández González, fell to Slovenia (ranked 26th in the world) 0-3 (13-25, 20-25. 23-25) in the final match of Group C at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games Final Qualification on Thursday (July 24) at the Atlas Arena in Łódź, Poland.
South Korea ended the tournament in last place in Group C with a seven-match winless streak, while Slovenia ended the tournament in sixth place with two straight wins after a five-match losing streak.
Korea was led by Lee Da-hyun with 12 points, Jung Ho-young with seven, Lee Sun-woo with six, and Moon Jung-won and Pyo Seung-joo with five apiece, but could not win the set. The attacking score was even at 38-39, but the blocking 2-12 was decisive. Slovenia had an even performance from Zipa with 12 points, Mlaka and Milojic with 10 points each, and Fiok with nine points.
Korea started with outside hitter Lee Sun-woo (4), outside hitters Lee Han-bi (2) and Pyo Seung-joo (5), middle blockers Jung Ho-young (3) and Lee Da-hyun (6), setter Kim Da-in (1) and libero Kim Yeon-yeon.
Slovenia started with outside hitter Mlaka (4), outside hitters Pioch (2) and Zipa (5), middle blockers Planiak (3) and Milojic (6), setter Nazidic (1) and libero Majez.
Korea fell behind 2-5 in the first set. Pyo Seung-joo’s two kills brought the score to 4-6, but Lee Da-hyun’s service error and Jung Ho-young’s net touch made the score 5-10.
The gap was not easily narrowed after the break as Lee Sun-woo made an attacking error. Lee Han-bi’s left-handed hit was just out.
At 6-12, Korea started to pull away with a right-handed touchout from Lee Han-bi. Lee Sun-woo followed up with a right-handed strike. Jung Ho-young’s center point brought Korea within 9-12.
However, Lee Han-bi’s strong serve was out, and Pyo Seung-joo’s touchdown was ruled a no-touch after an opponent challenge. Korea then went down 10-18 when Jeong Ho-young’s attack was blocked by the opponent’s blocking. Korea struggled to find a scoring route, as Pyo Seung-joo’s left side run was blocked.
Korea managed to get a sideout when Lee Seon-woo blocked the opponent’s attack one-on-one. However, they couldn’t keep the momentum going. Lee’s attack was blocked by the opposing wall, and substitute Park Jung-ah’s serve also hit the net.
Slovenia touched set point when Mlaka’s right-hand smash was followed by Milojic’s serve, and Pioch sealed the set with a push. The scoreboard indicated 25-13.
Set two. Korea started off with Kim Dae-in’s serve narrowly going out. Lee Seon-woo scored a touchout, but the attacks of Mlaka and Zipa were not easy to stop. Even Pyo Seung-ju’s attack was blocked by Milogic. The score was 1-5.
Korea responded with two more right-side scores from Lee Sun-woo. A direct kill by Lee Da-hyun on Jung Ho-young’s serve narrowed the score to 4-5.
Lee Sun-woo tied the score at 6-6 on his own serve, but Korea couldn’t pull away. Their reception was shaky against the opponent’s strong serve and they gave up four consecutive points.
After the stoppage time, Korea regained its momentum with a mobile attack from Lee Da-hyun. Lee Han-bi responded with a hard hit to the left. However, the opponent’s high-hitting offense was difficult to handle. The score was 8-16 with a double play. With the players’ heavy bodies, the connection was not smooth. It was an unfortunate situation that made it difficult to find a breakthrough.
Korea scored a goal from Jung Ho-young and an unforced error, but it wasn’t enough. In a bleak situation, Lee Da-hyun’s neat mobile attack was the only consolation. It was significant that Pyo Seung-ju and Lee cut the gap to 17-23. After an opponent error, Moon Jung-won scored to narrow the gap to 20-24. However, Slovenia won the second set thanks to Mlaka’s hard hitting.
Third set. Korea took an early 4-2 lead thanks to kills by Jung Ho-young and Moon Jung-won. Lee Da-hyun scored twice to make it 6-4. Lee celebrated with a block, followed by attack points from Jung Ho-young and Moon Jung-won for an 11-9 lead. It was the best pace of the match. Park Jung-ah responded with a left touchout for a 12-10 lead.
However, Park’s left attack was blocked by Planiak and Djakovic, tying the score at 12-12. Coach Cesar called timeout, and Korea took a 14-12 lead with an attack from Lee Da-hyun and a serve from Moon Jung-won.
Slovenia then called for a timeout, and in the ensuing long rally, Korea’s Park tried to attack from the left side but was blocked by Milogic. Park converted the next attack to give Korea a two-point lead.
Slovenia responded with kills by Zipa and Pioch, followed by an attack error by Jeong Ho-young to make it 17-16. Djakovic added the extra point.
South Korea fell behind 18-20 when Park’s touchdown attempt was ruled out. However, Moon Jeong-won scored and Lee Da-hyun’s clever center tied the score at 20-20.카지노
With the set tied at 21-21, Korea fought back to tie the score at 21-21 with a clever center from Lee. Park gave South Korea a 22-21 lead with a left-handed slam. However, on the ensuing rally, Pyo Seung-joo’s back-attack was blocked to tie the score at 22-22.
Slovenia took the lead again with a left smash from Jipa. The Koreans drew back to 23-23 on a mobile attack by Lee Da-hyun. Slovenia touched match point with a hard left from Jipa. Pyo Seung-joo’s subsequent attack was blocked by Milosic. It was the moment of victory for Slovenia.
The Korean team will travel to Hangzhou for the Asian Games via Doha on Sept. 25 on a Qatar Airways flight.