National team trio who regained their skills, IBK shakes ranking competition

IBK Industrial Bank (hereinafter referred to as Industrial Bank of Korea) is shaking the game of the V-League Women’s Division rankings. The national team trio, who led the team to the semifinals of last year’s Tokyo Olympics, is leading the team’s rebound.

Industrial Bank of Korea won 3-2 after a 5-set close match against GS Caltex held at the Hwaseong Indoor Gymnasium on the 11th. Middle blocker Kim Su-ji (33), apositive spiker Kim Hee-jin (31) outsider hitter Pyo Seung-joo (30), the three main players in Korea, all scored double-digit points. Industrial Bank of Korea won its 6th win (7th loss) of the season and scored 18 points, chasing 3rd place Korea Expressway Corporation (21 points) by 3 points.

IBK has won 4 wins (1 loss) in the last 5 matches. Only in the match against Heungkuk Life, where Kim Yeon-kyung, the ‘Volleyball Empress’, was holding out, lost with a set score of 1-3. Against GS Caltex and KGC Ginseng Corporation, who lost in 안전놀이터 the first round, they played a revenge game in turn. At the beginning of the season, coach Kim Ho-cheol, who often gave disobedience to the players’ sluggish performances, has recently softened his expression.

The performance of the key players was revived. On the 11th, the main character of GS Caltex’s victory was ‘eldest sister’ Kim Su-ji. He led the way by recording 3 blocks in the first set alone, and contributed to widening the score by intercepting the open attack of GS Caltex’s main gun MoMA in the situation where the match was 11-10 in the 5th set, 1 point ahead.

Kim Su-ji also led Industrial Bank of Korea to a 3-0 victory by scoring 15 points, including 6 blocks, in the KGC Ginseng Corporation match on the 6th. It is a double-digit score in the last 4 games in a row. As of the 13th, it recorded 0.780 blocking per set, ranking second in this category. It increased significantly from his last season (2021-22) record (0.668). Coach Kim Ho-cheol also praised Kim Su-ji, saying, “The leader of the team that leads the team.”

Hee-jin “Jupo” Kim, who is on the court with an injury to his right knee, is also improving in performance. After the opening game (against GS Caltex on October 23), he failed to start for 5 consecutive games, but after getting better, he scored 21 points, the most in the season, in the game against GS Caltex on the 23rd of last month. He also scored 20 points against Pepper Savings Bank on the 27th. There are still ups and downs in performance. Manager Kim Ho-cheol says that he can put pressure on the opponent’s defense just by stepping onto the court.

Pyo Seung-joo also performed well, averaging 17.4 points in the last 5 games. In the first round, there was no game with an attack success rate of more than 40%, but starting from the game against GS Caltex on the 23rd of last month, they are showing efficient attacks. He scored 198 points in 13 games he participated in, ranking second in the scoring category for domestic players after Kim Yeon-kyung (228 points, Heungkuk Life Insurance).

Coach Ho-cheol Kim increased the amount of training for the key players after their physical condition improved. His main setter Kim Ha-kyung’s little experience is evaluated as a weakness, but the backup puts Sol-ah and Kim Yun-woo at the right time to block variables. He has a resilience.

On the 16th, Industrial Bank of Korea will face off against Korea Expressway Corporation in the third round. The season record is 1 win and 1 loss. If you win, you can aim to jump to the top.

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