‘Carrot and stick despite 3 straight wins and 1st place’: Woori Card coach Shin Young-cheol’s sobering analysis
Woori Card, the No. 1 team in the men’s professional volleyball league, extended its winning streak to three games with a come-from-behind victory over the bottom-ranked KB Insurance. Head coach Shin Young-cheol said, “The players’ refusal to give up was the driving force behind the victory,” but added, “I think I need to talk to the players a lot.”
Woori Card defeated KB Sonbo in the second round of the 2023-2024 Dodram V-League Men’s Division at Jangchung Gymnasium in Seoul on Saturday with a set score of three games to two (25-19 23-25 23-25 25-21 16-14). It was a new victory that came from behind.
After the game, Coach Shin breathed a sigh of relief, saying, “The fact that the players didn’t give up and played to the end was the driving force behind the victory.” The two teams fought back and forth in long rallies until the very end of the match, and Woori Card almost lost.
After taking the first set, Woori Card dropped the second and third, but managed to even the score in the fourth. In the fifth set, he was down 11 to 13, but he showed tenacious defensive focus at the end of the game, and eventually won the match in a close game that went down to deuce.
“In that situation, I thought the ball was going to go to Bijena anyway,” Shin said, “so don’t just try to block it, just put it in bounds and she’ll defend it from behind.”
He also praised Matej Kok’s (registered name Matej-199cm) attack in the fifth set. “He’s not the kind of player who can turn the ball around and play a technical offense like Andres Biyena (194 cm),” Shin said, but he praised him for being able to “play a good enough offense like he did at the end of the game.”
On the day, Matei blitzed KB Sonbo with 49 points. He had a 61.11% success rate on offense and a 56.59% share. “Matei didn’t touch the ball for two days and focused on weights and rest,” Shin said, adding, “Matei is continuing his physical training, and he’s young, so he has good physical strength.”
However, the offense, which was centered on Matei, could also be a problem later on. “We should have used some fastballs,” Shin reflected, “but whenever we did, the players’ shoulders got tense and they made bad swings.
“Setter Han Tae-joon needs to be able to time his shots, and he’s not there yet,” Shin said. “(Han) needs to think a lot about how to release the fastball,” he said, adding, “I think I’ll have to talk to him a lot today.”
However, Shin did not forget to encourage the younger players, including Han Tae-joon. “Kim Ji-han, Han Tae-joon, Park Joon-hyuk, and Lee Sang-hyun are 바카라 still in the process of growing up, so they need to persevere and not be arrogant,” Shin said. “All of our players work hard and try to fix the things I point out. I’m grateful for their hard work.”
With the win, the Woori Card remains in first place with an 8-1 record (21 points). With three straight wins after a difficult game, the Woori Card will try to make it four in a row against Samsung Fire on March 23.