Korean Air’s men’s professional volleyball team has run into one tough opponent after another on the Asian club stage, dropping to the seventh and eighth place match.
Korean Air fell to Kuwait Sporting Club 1-3 (26-28, 25-21, 32-34, 23-25) in the fifth through sixth place match at the 2023 Asia Men’s Club Volleyball Championship at the Manama Isa Sports City Stadium in Manama, Bahrain on Tuesday (Nov. 20).
The score itself was close in every game, but Korean Air was unable to overcome a single player. Not only were they one-sidedly bombarded by the opposing ace, Saber Kazemi (IRA), but they were also caught in the wrong room.
Tilikainen started a number of players who hadn’t seen much action before. It was an unfamiliar lineup. Second-year setter Jung Jin-hyuk, who played full-time in his first start against Bayang Hongor the day before, was the starting setter again. Son Hyun-jong, who had played as an outside hitter the previous match, took the outside hitter position, with Lee Jun on the diagonal. After the break, Lim Dong-hyuk started as the apogee.
The beginning of the game was tense. Korean Air put forward Lim Dong-hyuk’s attack, but when they needed to defend, they were unable to do so. They missed the chance balls handed over by their opponents and failed to attack. At 26-26, Oh Eun-ryul was unable to pick up the ball from the back and conceded the point. This was followed by an attack error by Lim Dong-hyuk, and the momentum was lost.
Korean Air barely managed to equalize in the second set. Kazemi made a big threat with three consecutive service aces, but Lim Dong-hyuk’s dislocation attack and Son Hyun-jong’s staggered attack kept the momentum going.
However, the victory was short-lived. In the third set, Lim Dong-hyuk scored back-to-back points and Son Hyun-jong made a block to score four points in a row, but Kazemi put on a one-man show to take a five-point lead.
Tillikainen called for a video review of the opponent’s net touch, which resulted in a tense deuce, but Kazemi used his strong serve to demoralize Korean Air. He also used an unexpected fastball to take the match in three or four sets 메이저놀이터.
Lim Dong-hyuk led the way for Korean Air with 34 points on 57 attack attempts with a 54% success rate, including one block and two service aces. Lee Jun added 14 points and Son Hyun-jong 12.
However, it was not enough to overcome Kazemi’s “one-man bombing show. Kazemi, who had 53% of the team’s offense, also had a 52% offensive success rate. In addition, Korean Air was unable to overcome its true enemy inside, the bum seal (36).
“Kazemi is a player who can score at key moments,” said head coach Tilikainen after the match, “and today she scored with her serve at a key moment.”
“We still have a long way to go, and I hope the players realize that we need to raise our level,” he concluded.
“When the opponent is in the paint or hitting, we need to take advantage of it and score points, and we don’t do that very well,” Tilikainen said, adding, “We need to work on our fundamentals to be able to send the ball where we want it when we get the first touch.”