At the end of the fourth round, the contours of the men’s V-League’s ranking fight are rarely revealed.
While the first-ranked Woori Card recorded 43 points, the second-ranked Korean Air (40 points) is trailing by a gap of three points. The third-ranked Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Co. (38 points), the fourth-ranked OK Financial Group Co. (36 points), the fifth-ranked Korea Electric Power Corp. (34 points), and the sixth-ranked Hyundai Capital Co. (32 points). The gap between Woori Card and KEPCO is only 11 points. The gap between Woori Card and KEPCO is nine points, which is a single digit. Only KB Insurance Co. (17 points), the bottom-ranked team, is far away, and competition among the other six teams is fierce.
Looking at the recent atmosphere, the ranking structure becomes more complicated. The first-runner Woori Card has been mired in a four-game losing streak. Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, ranked third, also suffered three consecutive losses, and the mood declined.
On the other hand, mid- and low-ranking teams have made strides. OK Financial Group has won five consecutive games, enabling spring volleyball. Korea Electric Power Corp. also won two consecutive games with Woori Card on the 14th. Although the winning streak is over, Hyundai Capital has now built a situation where it can rise to the mid-range in one or two games.
With this trend, it is expected that the composition of spring volleyball can be predicted to some extent after the middle of the fifth round. It is impossible to predict yet.
Unlike the men’s division, the women’s division is poised to compete for ranking. While the front-runner Hyundai Engineering & Construction (55 points) and the runner-up Heungkuk Life Insurance (50 points) are engaged in a two-way race for first place, GS Caltex (40 points) is expected to solidify into the third place. IBK Industrial Bank of Korea, ranking fourth, and Chung Kwan-kwan, ranking fifth, are both seven points behind GS Caltex with 33 points. Korea Expressway Corporation (22 points) ranking sixth and Pepper Savings Bank (7 points) ranking seventh have failed to escape from the lower ranks, which is difficult to catch up with the middle ranks.
The key is the battle for the lead and whether the Industrial Bank of Korea and Chung Kwan-kwan will pursue GS Caltex.
Hyundai Engineering & Construction and Heungkuk Life Insurance still have a showdown in the 5th and 6th rounds. The difference could be further widened or narrowed through these two matches. Hyundai Engineering & Construction seems to be advantageous now, but Heungkuk Life Insurance, with Kim Yeon-kyung at the forefront, also has a chance.
IBK and Chung must increase their winning percentage against top three players in order to advance to spring volleyball. IBK lost all games to Heungkuk Life Insurance, and is recording one win and three losses against Hyundai Engineering and Construction and GS Caltex. Chung also garnered only one win against the three teams. If both teams fail to overcome this weakness, it will be difficult to narrow the gap between the two teams, especially GS Caltex.