Led by head coach César Hernández González, the South Korean women’s volleyball team (ranked 40th in the FIVB) secured a 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-16) victory over Kazakhstan (ranked 32nd) in the 5th-8th place match at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Duching Sports Center Gymnasium in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China on Saturday.
South Korea, who won a gold medal 17 years after the 2006 Doha Games, came into the 5-8 playoffs in third place in Group E, behind China and Vietnam in the quarterfinals. It was a shocking result, but a win was crucial to avoid further disaster.
Kazakhstan defeated Korea 3-0 in the fifth-sixth place match at the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) 2023 Asian Women’s Championship in Thailand last month. “We lost to Kazakhstan at the Asian Championships. It’s going to be a tough match, but we’re going to focus on that match.”
The Koreans fought back from the Kazakhs and got their revenge. Middle blocker Lee Da-hyun had 14 points, including three serves and four blocks. Park Eun-jin also dominated the center alongside Lee with 11 points, including one serve and two blocks. Outside hitter Kang So-hwi added 13 points.
South Korea also led 6-1 in serves, 11-9 in blocks and 11-19 in hitting errors.
After taking the first set 25-18 on the strength of Kang So-hwi and Park Eun-jin’s offense, South Korea was dragged by Kazakhstan in the second set. At 7-8, the score was 7-12 when the opponent scored consecutive attack, serve, and block points. Then, at 8-13, Korea fought back to 12-13 with a fastball by Lee Da-hyun, an attack by Pyo Seung-joo, a block by Lee Sun-woo, and an attack by Kang So-hwi. At 14-16, Pyo Seung-joo attacked and Lee Da-hyun and Kim Dae-in blocked for the first time in the second set. Kazakhstan was forced to call time.
But it wasn’t the end of the story. Korea’s run was unstoppable, and they reached the 20-point mark first with a fastball from Lee Da-hyun and a service ace from Park Eun-jin. From 14-16, Korea scored back-to-back points to make it 20-16. Lee continued her insane performance, extending the lead to 22-16 and securing the second set. Korea closed out the second set at 23-18 with an attack from Lee Sun-woo and a service ace from Pyo Seung-joo to make it 2-0.
In the third set, Korea went from 6-6 to 8-6 on an opponent serve error and a Pyo Seung-joo attack point. While Kazakhstan self-destructed with errors, Korea continued to rack up points on attack, serve, and block to extend their lead to 14-8. Korea never let up and closed out the third set. Lee Sun-woo’s block ended the match 토토사이트.