Kim Yeon-kyung (35, Heungkuk Life Insurance) shouted “fighting” so that her throat would burst. She focused more on her goal of ‘ranking first in the regular league’ and became stronger. She posted 23 points, more than half of the team’s points (45 points), accompanied by 4 blocking. Heungkuk Life Insurance, with the fighting spirit of the ‘Volleyball Empress’, returned to the top of the regular league after 4 years.
Heungkuk Life Insurance won a complete victory with a set score of 3-0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-16) in an away game against IBK Industrial Bank held at the volleyball court at the Hwaseong General Gymnasium in Gyeonggi-do on the 15th. By raising the season’s points to 79 points (25 wins and 9 losses), regardless of the results of the remaining matches, the 2022-2023 V-League regular season 1st place was confirmed. Even if 2nd place Hyundai Engineering & Construction (70 points, 24 wins, 10 losses) adds a maximum of 6 points in the remaining two games, the ranking does not change.
It is the 6th time in total that Heungkuk Life Insurance has reached the top of the regular league, and it has been 4 years since the 2018-2019 season. Last season, they finished 6th out of 7 clubs, but rebounded to the top of the leaderboard after just one season. The secret, of course, is Kim Yeon-kyung, who returned to the V-League after two years.
Kim Yeon-kyung, who made her professional debut as a member of Heungkuk Life Insurance in the 2005-2006 season, led the team to first place in the regular league in the 2007-2008 season, the third year of her joining. Since then, in 2009, she has advanced to the overseas stage and has been active in Japan and Turkey. She briefly returned for the 2020-2021 season먹튀검증, helped Heungkuk Life Insurance runner-up, and then left for China again.
Kim Yeon-kyung announced a return to Korea ahead of this season, saying, “Now I want to play in front of Korean fans.” Heungkuk Life Insurance, which rejoined, was in a state of weakness due to the departure and retirement of key players. In January, former coach Kwon Soon-chan suffered serious internal conflict in the process of semi-forced resignation. In the aftermath, Heungkuk Life Insurance had to go through the season as an acting manager without a manager for over a month.
Kim Yeon-kyung took the lead and resolved the crisis. He served as a one-time bag on the court and served as a mental support for the team off the court. Veteran libero Kim Hae-ran said, “We went through a difficult time, but we came together and overcame it.” It must have been very difficult, but he endured well and pulled us along.”
Heungkuk Life Insurance, which regained first place without a coach, accelerated with the arrival of European head coach Marcello Abondanza in the middle of last month. Kim Yeon-kyung said, “I didn’t expect this level of performance at the beginning of the season. He said, “It’s really nice to be able to finish in first place,” he said.
He also showed ‘grounded confidence’. To the reporter’s question, “How much do you think Kim Yeon-kyung’s presence had an impact on achieving first place?” Of course there is,” he replied with a laugh. “It feels good to be recognized as a player who has a good influence on the team. He said, “I am proud in many ways,” he said, saying, “Because his colleagues worked together, good results come out.”
Heungkuk Life Insurance begins preparations for the championship match (3 wins in 5 matches) starting on the 29th. Head coach Abondanza said, “Not only did we win, but the content of the game was also good, so I feel very good. He said, “There is an interesting (winning) challenge left, so after enjoying this feeling for about two days, I will run toward the next goal.”