Ahead of the 2022-2023 V-League men’s playoffs (PO) between Hyundai Capital and KEPCO, there were many voices saying, “Isn’t KEPCO a bit dominant?” There is only one reason. It was because Jeon Kwang-in, a key player of Hyundai Capital, was unable to play due to injury.
Who is Jeon Kwang-in? He is a player who has everything an outside hitter should have. Along with Jeong Ji-seok (Korean Air), he is regarded as the league’s best karate and outside hitter. Even coach Tae-Woong Choi, who is good at volleyball strategy and tactics comparable to Zhuge Liang, did not seem easy to fill the void of Jeon Kwang-in.
Upon opening the lid of the PO, ‘Choi Gal-ryang’ is filling the void of Jeon Gwang-in by drawing all the resources available within the team. With coach Choi’s flashing mercenary skills, Hyundai Capital is facing a tight battle with a 1-1 record, playing full sets in both the 1st and 2nd games.
◆ Game 1: Gal-ryang Choi’s first move, ‘Sung-Min Moon’
Coach Choi’s PO game 1 key card was ‘Ace of the past’ Seong-Min Moon (37). Moon Seong-min, who played an active role as an ace representing the team immediately after wearing Hyundai Capital’s uniform from the 2010-2011 season, gradually decreased his playing time from the 2018-2019 season. He also appeared in only 15 regular league games this season, of which only 2 started.
However, director Choi’s faith in Moon Seong-min was firm. Even though Moon Seong-min’s jumping and attacking power was reduced compared to his prime, he believed in his experience and the condition of his body care that he had been working hard on. Moon Seong-min was sent to Apposite, and Heo Soo-bong played as a middle blocker to try to coexist. When Moon Sung-min and Heo Soo-bong were in the rearguard at the same time, Moon Sung-min replaced the libero and Heo Soo-bong attempted a rearguard attack, and various tactics were used.
Moon Seong-min lived up to coach Choi’s trust by scoring 18 points, including a successful open toss with a skillful attack using the opponent’s blocking. His attack success rate reached 70%, and he showed himself the maxim of ‘class is forever’ by popping up to 3 blocks and 1 serve score. Amid Moon Seong-min’s performance, Hyundai Capital won the game 3-2 and took the lead.
◆ Game 2: Coach Ki-yong Choi, the main player of ‘Siwoo Time’,
surprised the volleyball officials once again by utilizing Lee Si-woo (29) in the 2nd game of PO. In the 2016-2017 rookie draft, Lee Si-woo, who wore a Hyundai Capital uniform with the 6th rank in the 1st round, is a player who has been active as a professional one-point server since his debut. Since his height is 187 cm, which is somewhat disappointing, Lee Si-woo has been focusing on the role of changing the atmosphere of the team with his strong point, the serve. Although not his main player, he shows up as a one-point server every set, so fans of Hyundai Capital call Siwoo Lee’s appearance ‘Siwoo Time’.
In the second round of PO, Siwoo Lee’s role was as a one-point server. Lee Si-woo, who served as a one-point server in the 1st and 2nd sets and delivered a stable and strong serve, a proprietary patent, did not appear in the 3rd set, but started in the 4th set. It was because Hong Dong-seon, a 2nd year player who was a direct substitute for Jeon Kwang-in with a good height of 198cm, was not very good in receiving and attacking. Although he was a bit disappointed when he was in the avant-garde because he was shorter than Hong Dong-seon, it was Choi’s plan to use the strengths of Lee Si-woo, who can show a much better performance in receiving and serving.
Lee Si-woo was not at all taken aback by the sudden business trip. He tried 5 quick-opens and succeeded in 3, doing his part in the attack, and also caught 1 blocking.
When it comes to Lee Siu, it is definitely a serve. At the end of the set, which was also the place to compete, Lee Si-woo’s strong serve exploded. 4th set with a set score of 1-2. With the match point at 23-24, Lee Si-woo moved to the back of the court. After taking a deep breath, Lee Si-woo’s serve flew to Lim Seong-jin, and Lim Seong-jin’s receive went straight to the Hyundai Capital Court, and Park Sang-ha connected it to a direct kill. tied 24-24. In the moment of desperation, Lee Si-woo saved the team with one serve.
Lee Si-woo’s performance did not stop there. He hit another serve, which landed nicely over the end line. It fell on the court so exquisitely that even the line judges could not make a judgment right away. KEPCO coach Kwon Young-min hurriedly applied for a video review, but as a result of watching it on a slow screen, Lee Si-woo’s serve fell within the end line. With Lee Si-woo’s serve, Hyundai Capital’s atmosphere changed 180 degrees, and Oreol jumped alone to Seong-jin Lim’s quick open on 26-25 and narrowed it down with a ‘one-man blocking’, leading the game to the 5th set. 메이저놀이터
Lee Si-woo, who also started in the 5th set, did his job well, scoring two offensive points. If Hyundai Capital wins as it is, Lee Si-woo, who could have been the number one contributor to victory, made a mistake at a crucial moment. KEPCO’s Cho Geun-ho served with a 16-16 tie in a deuce situation. Jo Geun-ho’s serve is a typical plotter serve. Lee Si-woo, who was trying to catch it with an over pass, tried to put his hands up, but he fell behind the court.
Cho Keun-ho’s serve followed, and Lee Si-woo’s quick open and open attack were attempted, but neither was successful. After a long rally, Seo Jae-deok’s back attack landed on the Hyundai Capital court and the game ended. For Lee Si-woo, it was a receiving failure that could be a ‘one of a thousand’.
Maybe it was because he thought he lost the game because of his failure to receive. After the game, Lee Si-woo could not hold back his tears and cried on the court. However, if it wasn’t for Lee Si-woo, he could have lost the match in 4 sets, so no one could blame Lee Si-woo. Coach Choi also said after the game, “I told Siwoo not to cry, but it must have been a pity. He said, “I went to the 5th set because Siu did well.” He continued, “I made a lot of progress because I gave a quick attack and the game was blocked. I want to tell Siwoo, ‘Are you crying over that?’” he comforted the pupil.