In fact, Hyundai Engineering & Construction was not evaluated as a candidate for the championship until the opening day. Due to the departure of Hwang Min-kyung (transfer to IBK Industrial Bank) and Ko Ye-rim (surgery) who were in charge of outside hitters last season, two foreign players (Moma Basoko and Wipawi Shitong) also changed, resulting in many variables.
On top of that, Kim Da-in (setter), Lee Da-hyun (middle blocker), and Kim Yeon-kyoon (ribero), who were elected to the national team, have played many games, and other outside heaters, Jung Ji-yoon, were also uncertain about their early participation in the season due to injury, raising question marks.
In fact, Hyundai Engineering & Construction got off to a shaky start with three wins and three losses in the first round. The fact that Kim Da-in and Lee Da-hyun, who played many games as national team players, were not in normal condition directly related to their performance.
Hyundai Engineering & Construction, however, has not collapsed as it is. Hyundai Engineering & Construction, which has joined forces with captain Kim Yeon-kyoon at the center, changed the frustrating trend of its offense as Wipawi joined the Asian quarter and Jung Ji-yoon returned to the team from the beginning of the second round at the end of the first round.
The game pattern, which relied on Moma and Yang Hyo-jin, has changed to a team that can utilize players who have selected Wipawi and Jung Ji-yoon.
Hyundai E&C took the lead by recording five wins and one loss in the second and third rounds, respectively, and gained strength by winning all six games in the fourth round. It is fiercely racing to the top by beating Heungkuk Life Insurance, which was the leader, to the second place.
It is Hyundai Engineering & Construction, which is cruising, but it is never satisfied with the present. This is because the previous two seasons also had a painful experience of slipping at the last minute after racing to the top until the middle of the season.
Hyundai Engineering & Construction had to be satisfied with the top spot in the regular league as the women’s team ended early due to COVID-19 even though it had an overwhelming 28 wins and 3 losses in the 2021-22 season, when coach Kang Sung-hyung took the helm for the first time. In the case of the men’s team that season, the postseason was shortened and operated, but the women’s team did not hold “Spring Volleyball” after two suspensions due to the COVID-19 incident.
The same happened last season. Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. garnered 13 consecutive wins after the season’s opening, but was shaken up by the departure of its flagship player Yasmin Vedart (currently Pepper Savings Bank) due to back injury, and eventually gave up the top spot to Heungkuk Life Insurance at the end of the season.
Hyundai Engineering & Construction, which has become more atmospheric toward the back, finished the season unfortunately by losing two consecutive games to the Korea Expressway Corporation, which came in third place in the playoffs.
The two pains made the players stronger.
“The last two years have not been very good,” Kim Da-in, the team’s field commander, said. “The players are saying that the current ranking is meaningless. We have to finish well until the end of the sixth round.” “I remember not being good at the last minute recently, so it is important to smile at the end,” captain Kim Yeon-kyeon also said.
Meanwhile, the last time Hyundai E&C topped the list was in the 2015-16 season. At that time, Yang Hyo-jin led the team to win its second title following the 2010-11 season.
Hyundai Engineering & Construction, which failed to smile due to COVID-19 even though it topped the regular league twice in the 2019-20 and 2021-22 seasons, is determined to put the third star on the uniform this time.