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Women’s volleyball stumped by ‘too-high US’ as VNL slumps to 15th straight loss

The Korean women’s national volleyball team has slipped into a losing streak without a clue.

The women’s national team (ranked 25th in the world), led by Cesar Hernandez, lost 0-3 (16-25 25-27 11-25) to the United States (ranked second in the world) in the third match of Week 1 of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) 2023 in Antalya, Turkey on Thursday.

After losing to Turkiye (7th)-Canada (16th), Korea suffered a shutout loss in front of the ‘powerhouse’ USA for the third straight time. 15 straight VNL losses, including last season. Korea will look for their first win against Thailand (14th) on 4 April at 8pm.먹튀검증

Hoping to escape the “VNL nightmare,” coach Cesar went into the match with an unconventional line-up. He started Kim Dain at setter, Moon Ji-yoon, Jung Hyo-young, Park Eun-jin, Pyo Seung-ju, Kim Mi-yeon, and Moon Jung-won at libero.

However, it wasn’t enough, as the height disadvantage led to Korea being blocked by the USA in the first set. Coach Cesar tried to make a change by introducing Kang So-hwi and Yeom Hye-sun, but they couldn’t overcome the barrier. Even their serve reception was shaky and they lost the first set helplessly.

In the second set, while the USA’s reception was shaky, Pyo Seung-ju and Park Eun-jin succeeded one after another to take a 9-3 lead. A Jung Ho-young kill and a Moon Ji-yoon kill helped Korea reach the 20-point mark for the first time. This was the most impressive performance of the tournament.

Leading 22-15, Korea looked to have clinched the first set of the tournament against the powerhouse USA. However, the USA’s reception settled down and their blocking came alive, allowing them to tie the set at 23-23. Chung Ho-young had a set point, but was denied by the USA’s fast attack and height to take the second set.

With the second set seemingly in hand, the Korean team struggled in the third. With a 10-point deficit midway through the set, the players’ willpower and stamina dwindled. The USA’s blocking wall felt more solid and higher.

However, there is hope for the Korean team if they can recreate the performance they showed in the second set with an unconventional line-up. With the likes of Kim Yeon-kyung, Kim Soo-soo, and Yang Hyo-jin retiring from the national team, it would be unreasonable to expect a quick and surprising turnaround. It’s going to be a tough transition, but there’s no escaping the urgency of winning as many games and sets as possible in the VNL to move up the rankings heading into Paris 2024.

It will be interesting to see if coach Cesar, who has set a target of ‘three wins’ at the tournament, can find a way to turn things around sooner rather than later.

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