The 2022-2023 V-League, which opened in October of last year, has already passed the midpoint. After playing the 4th round until the 27th and playing the All-Star Game on the 29th, a fierce ranking fight for spring volleyball is expected to unfold in earnest. In the current situation ahead of the end of the 4th round, let’s predict the men’s and women’s divisions.
◆ Men’s Division: Korean Air’s solo run and 2nd to 4th places are in the fog. In the
men’s division, Korean Air’s 3 consecutive regular season victories are almost likely. Born in 1985 and turning 39 in Korean age this year, the setter duo of Han Seon-su and Kwang-woo Yoo and the outside hitter duo of Jeong Ji-seok and Seung-seok Kwak, who are good at both offense and defense, hold the center of the team. As of the 23rd, with 55 points (19 wins and 4 losses), it is significantly ahead of second place Hyundai Capital (43 points, 14 wins and 9 losses), so if there are no other variables, it is expected that the direct ticket to the championship match will be easily won.
Hyundai Capital’s second place, which seemed to be solidifying, seems to be in a state of confusion as Hyundai Capital’s recent two consecutive losses and Woori Card’s three consecutive wins mesh. Hyundai Capital lost 1-3 in the Woori Card match on the 19th right before the Lunar New Year holiday and the Korea Electric Power Match on the 23rd, which was played during the Lunar New Year holiday, and could not add a single point.
In a situation where Hyundai Capital’s overall pace has fallen somewhat, Woori Card beat Korean Air, Hyundai Capital, and OK Financial Group, which were at the top of the leaderboard in the last three games, despite the absence of coaches and key players such as coach Shin Young-cheol and Kim Ji-han, fighting for the rankings in the second half. It seems that he is becoming the biggest dark horse in the world. Currently, 3rd place Woori Card (14-9) and 4th place OK Financial Group (12-11) both have 37 points, with a difference of only 6 points from Hyundai Capital. This means that the rankings can be overturned depending on the results of the confrontation between the three teams in the two rounds after the All-Star Game.
KEPCO, which was slightly behind in 5th place, also gained strength to participate in the spring volleyball competition by climbing to the high of 30 points (9 wins and 14 losses) through a victory over Hyundai Capital on the 23rd.
6th place KB Insurance (21 points, 7 wins, 15 losses) and 7th place Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance (17 points, 5 wins, 18 losses) are in a situation where spring volleyball has become somewhat difficult, but how much red pepper powder can be sprinkled on top teams in the remaining schedule? I’m interested to see if I can
◆ Women’s Division: Hyundai Engineering & Construction – Heungkuk Life Insurance’s leading battle, 3rd to 4th place battle with up to 4 teams participating
In the women’s division, two spring volleyball invitations have been virtually decided. Hyundai Engineering & Construction (57 points, 20 wins and 3 losses), which maintained its lead throughout the season by winning 15 consecutive wins despite the bad news of foreign main shooter Yasmin’s injury. Heungkuk Life Insurance (54 points, 18 wins and 5 losses), which is seeing the comeback effect of ‘Volleyball Empress’ Kim Yeon-kyung, despite all kinds of bad news, such as the controversy over player intervention by the club’s top line and the internal conflict of the command tower replacement, widened a generous gap of more than 20 points with the other five teams. is the situation.
Now, the focus is on who gets a direct ticket to the championship match. Hyundai E&C boasted an overwhelming win rate of 14 wins and 3 losses, with Yasmin playing only 6 games, and Hwang Yeon-joo, the ‘Deer’, filling Yasmin’s void well in the 17 games he was away from. As the 5th round begins, Yasmin’s return becomes visible, so it may be possible to defend the lead. In the end, it seems that the direction of winning the regular league will be different in the remaining two matches between the two teams.
Another concern is whether a semi-playoff will be held for the first time in women’s professional volleyball. As the 7 club system was completed from the 2021-2022 season when Pepper Savings Bank was founded, a semi-playoff was created in the women’s division. When the difference between 3rd and 4th place points is within 3 points, a one-game semi-playoff is held. Last season, the gap between 3rd place GS Caltex (62 points) and 4th place KGC Ginseng Corporation (46 points) was as wide as 16 points, In the aftermath of the new coronavirus infection (Corona 19), the women’s regular league ended early, and spring volleyball itself disappeared.
Looking at the current atmosphere, the possibility of a semi-playoff is sufficient. 3rd place GS Caltex failed to make up for MoMA’s injury void and failed to escape as it became the victim of Pepper Savings Bank’s second victory of the season on the 23rd. The difference between 3rd place GS Caltex (33 points, 11 wins and 12 losses), 4th place Road Corporation (32 points, 11 wins and 11 losses), and 5th place KGC Ginseng Corporation (32 points, 10 wins and 13 losses) is only ‘1’. just a situation. 6th place IBK Industrial Bank is somewhat behind with 25 points (8 wins and 15 losses), but if it does well in the remaining schedule, it is possible to participate in the spring volleyball competition.