Hyundai Engineering & Construction is about to win the championship after 8 years

Hyundai Engineering & Construction, a women’s volleyball team aiming to win the championship game for the first time in eight years, swept all the first and second games played on its home turf.

Hyundai Engineering & Construction turned the tables with a set score of 3-2 (23:25:21:21:25:17:15:13) in the second leg of the 2023-2024 Dodram V-League championship match (three wins out of five) held at Suwon Gymnasium on the 30th.

Hyundai Engineering & Construction, which had a set score of 0-2 in the first match held on Friday, won three sets and achieved a dramatic come-from-behind victory, showed its potential in the second match as well. After losing the first set first, it recovered the second set and lost the third set again, winning the fourth and fifth sets despite deep defeat. Even if Hyundai E&C wins just once in the remaining three games, it will lift the trophy of the championship game.

Hyundai Engineering & Construction beat Heungkuk Life Insurance to win its first championship title in the 2010-2011 season, and earned its second “Star” against IBK Industrial Bank of Korea in the 2015-16 season. Heungkuk Life Insurance was the only team in women’s volleyball history that failed to win the first and second championship games. Heungkuk Life Insurance contributed its victory to Korea Expressway Corporation by leading the Korean Expressway Corporation with two wins and no losses.

Hyundai Engineering & Construction’s flagship player Letizia Moma Basoko (registered name Moma) boasted of scoring 34 points alone. “Bloquin” Yang Hyo-jin scored 19 points and was responsible for six blocks, or 75 percent of the team’s eight blocks. Jeong Ji-yoon (15 points) and Wipawi Sitong (12 points) also played their part.

The triangle formation of Heungkuk Life Insurance Kim Yeon-koung (28 points), Willow Johnson (25 points), and Tokoku Raina (22 points) jointly scored 75 points. Heungkuk Life was ahead of the strikers in power, but failed to overcome the last crisis in the fifth set, and both rounds fell to their knees after the full set.

Heungkuk Life Insurance, whose physical strength is weak due to the playoff, will also face two losses in both the championship match after a full-set battle.

In the third set, Heungkuk Life took a 22-19 lead with a 1 to 1 error in MOMA’s serve and a block by Lee Ju-ah, who blocked Yang Hyo-jin’s attack. Hyundai E&C recovered a point with Yang Hyo-jin’s quick attack, but Heungkuk Life made a set point with Willow’s rear attack and Kim Yeon-koung’s open attack, then took the third set by Kim Yeon-koung’s time difference. Then, Hyundai E&C led the game to the full set without missing the lead it took with a mistake in the fourth set.

Hyundai E&C won the game by scoring four consecutive points with two opponent teams’ unforced errors, blocking Jung Ji-yoon and MOMA’s spike in the fourth set of 9-8. In the 14-10, the score was widened to 18-10 with relay scores by Jung Ji-yoon, Yang Hyo-jin and MOMA.

In the end, the two teams were divided in the fifth set. Hyundai Engineering & Construction piled up points apiece with a straight attack by Wipawi and a powerful spike by Moma, while Heungkuk Life Insurance drove the ball to Kim Yeon-koung and Willow Ssangpo. Hyundai E&C led 12-9, but allowed Raina to score two consecutive points, leading the team by one point. Yang Hyo-jin added another point, but Heungkuk Life Insurance scored the quick open again.

Hyundai E&C made a match point with MOMA’s back attack, and Heungkuk Life followed again with Kim Yeon-koung’s time difference attack. Here, Hyundai E&C setter Kim Da-in put the ball on Yang Hyo-jin twice in a row, but all were blocked by the opponent and finally tossed it to MOMA, who was waiting at the rear. As soon as MOMA’s powerful rear attack hit the fingertips of Heungkuk Life Blocker Kim Soo-ji, a festival took place at Suwon Gymnasium.

Hyundai Engineering & Construction will challenge for the first trophy in eight years in the third round of the championship match to be held at Samsan World Gymnasium in Incheon on March 1. Heungkuk Life Insurance, which is on the brink of a cliff, aims for a rejuvenation at its home ground.

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