Women’s professional volleyball leader Heungkuk Sinsaeng defeated second-place GS Caltex to extend its winning streak to five games. With a six-point lead over second-place GS Caltex, Heungkuk Life has begun to build its dominance.
The team defeated GS Caltex in straight sets 3-0 (25-23 25-22 25-18) in the second round of the 2023-24 Dodram V League Women’s Division at Samsan World Gymnasium in Incheon on Sunday.
With the win, Heungkuk Life improved to 8-1 (23 points) and pulled away from GS Caltex, who remained at 6-2 (17 points).
Heungkuk Life dominated GS Caltex in the blocking battle, 13-1. Lee Ju-ah had eight points, including five blocks. “Ssangpo” Yelena and Kim Yeon-kyung also led the offense with 18 and 14 points, respectively.
GS Caltex was led by Silva with 21 points but couldn’t break through Heungkuk Sinsung’s blocking. Kang So-hwi and Yoo So-yeon were also held to 10 and 7 points, respectively.
As expected in a matchup between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams, each set was fiercely contested, but Heungkuk Sinsaeng had a stronger backbone.
Down 16-18 in the first set, Heungkuk Life scored four straight points to take a 20-18 lead. However, GS Caltex responded with back-to-back points from Silva to even the score at 20-20.
With the score tied at 23-23, Heungkuk Life smiled with two blocks. Lee Ju-ah blocked Silva’s staggered attack, and then Kim Mi-yeon blocked Yoo Seo-yeon’s quick-open attack to take the first set.
The second set followed a similar pattern to the first, but this time Kim was the one to solve the problem. After a successful attack at 19-19, Kim immediately blocked Silva’s attack.
Heungkuk Life gained momentum and Lee Won-jung blocked back-to-back attacks from Kwon Min-ji to make it 23-19. With set point at 24-22, Kim Yeon-kyung finished with a queen opener to give Heungkuk Life the second set.
The tide had completely turned in favor of Heungkuk Life.
Heungkuk Life trailed 10-12 at the start of the third set, but Kim Yeon-kyung, Yelena, and Reina scored four consecutive points with consecutive attacks. With the score tied at 15-14, the team scored five straight points, including an open attack by Yelena, a block by Kim Mi-yeon, and a service ace by Lee Won-jeong, to break GS Caltex’s momentum.
With a 24-18 lead, Heungkuk Life recorded match point on an attack error by Kang So-hwi, and the players celebrated their fifth consecutive win with a ceremony on the court.
In the men’s match at Cheonan Yugwansoon Gymnasium, OK Financial Group came from behind to defeat Hyundai Capital in three sets, 3-2 (18-25 25-20 21-25 26-24 15-9).
With a 6-3 record (15 points), OK Financial Group leapfrogged Samsung Fire (5-3 – 14 points) into third place. Hyundai Capital, on the other hand, remained in fifth place with a 2-7 record (8 points).
In the fourth set, Leo’s back-to-back back-attacks in a deuce situation gave OK Financial Group a 26-24 victory and pushed the match to a fifth set.
In the fifth set, Hyundai Capital committed seven unforced errors, and OK Financial Group took advantage of the gap to accumulate points. At 14-9, Park Seung-soo’s quick open ended the 2-hour, 12-minute match.