The Dodram Cup professional volleyball tournament, which is a great way to quench your thirst for volleyball before the regular season, has come to an end and the stars of the year have been crowned.
From July 29 to August 5, the women’s tournament and the men’s tournament were held at Park Jung-hee Gymnasium in Gumi. GS Caltex, the ‘king of summer volleyball’, succeeded in defending its title as the defending champion.안전놀이터
Kang So-hwi, who was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for her team’s victory, has now won the MVP award three times in her career, including 2017 and 2020. In this year’s Cup, Kang totaled 47 points, tied for second with Jung Yoon-ju (Heungkuk Life), and ranked third overall with a 43.3% attacking success rate, fourth with 0.33 per set, and third overall with a 40.38% open attack success rate and 44.90$% reception.
On the other hand, men’s volleyball made history by winning the inaugural OK Financial Group Cup. The team reached the final of the 2021 Cup, but lost the trophy in straight sets to Woori Card. With this victory, OK Financial Group washed away the disappointment.
The men’s tournament, which did not feature any foreign players, fulfilled its role as a ‘back door’.
Second-year pro Shin Seong-jin, who joined the team as the No. 1 overall pick in the rookie draft in the 22-23 season, first set a personal best with 31 points in the semifinals. He followed that up with a 34-point performance in the final the very next day, leading his team to victory and breaking the record for most points scored in a single game.
Shin missed the first game due to his commitments at the Chengdu Universiade, but his 25-point performance in the third game against Woori Card showed he was ready for the grueling schedule.
In addition, the first foreign head coach of the organization, Masashi Ogino (Japan), lifted the trophy in his debut game, raising expectations for the upcoming regular season.
On the men’s side, the rookie battle was a highlight. Park Sung-jin (Samsung Fire), Shin’s teammate in the pro ranks, was also a standout throughout the Cup. His 18 points against KEPCO, 13 against Hyundai Capital, 22 against Panasonic, 23 against Korean Air, and 30 against OK Financial Group earned him the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MIP) award.
While the women’s and men’s championships were markedly different in color, it was also a test for teams that changed coaches or overhauled their rosters this season.
Pepper Savings Bank made their debut under new head coach Cho Trinzi, but the team lost three games in three days due to the absence of key players.
However, there was a noticeable change. Park Eun-seo, who scored 22 points in the first match against the Roadrunners, had more than 11 attempts from behind the arc (6 points). That’s nearly four times the total number of back-attack attempts for the Roadrunners. Lee Han-bi also had six attempts with four points and Chae Sun-ah had four attempts.
These multiple attempts by the attackers didn’t change in the loss to Hyundai E&C. In the final match of the group stage, against Ginseng Corporation, Park Kyung-hyun also attempted a back-attack (seven times). Although the team went out with a loss in the cup competition, they are looking forward to the season when they will have more breathing room.
On the other hand, Abondanza’s Heungkuk Life, who were touted to have a full-strength forward line, remained unstable in the toss and defense, ending the tournament with just one win against Supreme Chonburi (Thailand). With Kim Yeon-kyung, Kim Hae-ran, and Kim Soo-ji all out, and even national team member Kim Da-eun saving her stamina, the team struggled with its domestic lineup.
The timeline for star setter Park Hye-jin’s return to the league is still unclear. The club said about Park’s condition, “Ball training is being done little by little, but she needs more time to recover from her injury.” “We are focusing on rehabilitation to improve her physical condition, but the coach will make a decision on her season entry after seeing her condition.” As a result, Lee Won-jung and Kim Da-sol, who are currently managing the team, will be asked to play a little more.
Korean Air, the defending champions, also competed in the tournament with only 10 players after most of them were called up to the national team. They played a variety of volleyball, including some positional variations, but were clearly limited by their physical strength.
This year’s tournament was held under the relaxed COVID-19 regulations, with invited teams from overseas, including Supreme Chonburi (Thailand) in the women’s tournament and Panasonic Panthers (Japan) in the men’s tournament. Unlike last year’s Cup, the men’s and women’s teams had one or two new foreign coaches, adding to the tactical battle between domestic and foreign managers.
Of course, the regular league is played with a full squad, so it is difficult to predict the outcome of the cup tournament. Also, from this season, the Asian quota system will increase to two mercenaries per team. However, the Cup gave us a brief glimpse of the direction the domestic team is heading and the overall team color change.
Meanwhile, the regular season, the 2023-24 Dodram V-League, will begin on October 14.