Of course, I expected that the empty seat would be felt. However, the vacancy is larger than expected.
Hyundai Capital faced a huge bad news ahead of the end of the regular season. Jeon Kwang-in, the team’s captain and key resource, was out of power due to an injury. Jeon Kwang-in, who suffered an ankle ligament rupture injury while stepping on Seo Jae-deok’s foot at the KEPCO on March 9, was diagnosed as requiring 3 to 4 weeks of treatment. In fact, it was like saying he couldn’t play spring volleyball.
However, Hyundai Capital came together and somehow filled the void left by Jeon Gwang-in. Veteran Moon Seong-min replaced Jeon Kwang-in’s leadership on the court, and Kim Seon-ho, Lee Si-woo, and Hong Dong-seon struggled to take turns in Jeon Kwang-in’s empty seat. As a result, they defeated KEPCO 2-1 in the playoffs and advanced to the championship match.
However, in the most important championship match stage, the vacancy of Jeon Kwang-in is especially felt. Coach Tae-Woong Choi selected Si-Woo Lee as the starter in the first match. Lee Si-woo scored 8 points and showed a decent appearance in the attack, but recorded a receiving efficiency of 16.67%, exposing anxiety. Coach Choi, who gave the first game a set score of 1-3, also put Lee Si-woo as a starter in the second leg of the Dodram 2022-2023 V-League Championship Match held at Incheon Gyeyang Gymnasium on the 1st, but Lee Si-woo continued to be unable to shake off the burden of receiving. He consistently struggled, especially with overhanded floater serves.
Then, coach Choi came up with several different strategies. He tried to put Hong Dong-seon, who started first as a middle blocker, in Lee Si-woo’s place, and in the third set, Kim Seon-ho was put in as a starter. However, Korean Air, the No. 1 team in the regular season, had something to attack no matter who came in. Hong Dong-seon’s weaknesses were unstable receiving and inaccurate connections, while Kim Seon-ho’s weaknesses were side blocking and attack power. In the end, neither player was able to make a sharp move, and Hyundai Capital collapsed with a set score of 0-3 (20-25, 22-25, 22-25) and was driven to the edge of the cliff. 안전놀이터
There was also a moment when I missed the leadership of Captain Jeon Kwang-in. It was the moment when all the players in the second half of the third set, which had been steadily leading, swayed at the same time and allowed Korean Air to turn around. When Heo Soo-bong collapsed with a series of mistakes and Choi Min-ho also committed a quick-breaking mistake, I couldn’t help but think that this situation could have been rectified if Jeon Kwang-in had been holding on to the Hyundai Capital court.
Jeon Kwang-in is such a great player. He is a ‘hexagonal player’ who has no corners in attacking, defending, receiving, serving and even leadership. Replacing such a player is obviously not easy. However, it is also true that there was a little bit of anticipation because Coach Choi, a resourceful strategist who always surprises everyone, was holding on, and because it was Hyundai Capital with a thick player base. But now, Hyundai Capital misses Jeon Kwang-in. The vacancy of Jeon Kwang-in feels bigger than ever.
Can Hyundai Capital and Director Choi find a ‘trick’ that will make a miracle in the bus going down to Cheonan? It won’t be easy, but you must find it in order to counterattack.