Korean Air, who is participating in the 2023 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championships as Korea’s representative, lost the 5th and 6th place matches and fell to the 7th and 8th place matches.
Korean Air, who belonged to Group E and took 3rd place in the quarter-final group stage, was held on the 20th (local time) at Isa Sports City Stadium in Manama, Bahrain, to advance to the 5th and 6th places against Kuwait Sporting Club (Kuwait), who finished 4th in Group F. and lost 1-3 (26-28 25-21 32-34 23-25). With the defeat, Korean Air will play a match for 7th and 8th place on the 21st with the losing team in the face-to-face confrontation between Group E 4th place Bayanhongor (Mongolia) and Group F 3rd place South Gas Sports Club (Iraq).
Korean Air coach Tommy Tilikhainen launched a lineup that he has never seen before in this tournament. The second-year setter Jeong Jin-hyeok, who played full-time in the first start of this tournament in the game against Bayanghongor the previous day, was put forward on this day as well. In the apogeetic spiker, Lim Dong-hyuk, who had taken a break the day before, was sortie, and in the outside heater, Son Hyeon-jong, who was an apositive spiker the day before, and Lee Joon were sortie in his diagonal. The middle blocker also started Cho Jae-young for the first time in this tournament, and Kim Min-jae was his partner.
The first set was tight. Ahead of this tournament, the Kuwait Sporting Club, which recruited Saber Kazemi, a former apogee striker for the Iranian national team, on a short-term contract, confronted Korean Air with a simple offensive strategy centered on Kazemi. Korean Air’s attack by Lim Dong-hyuk, who started again as the main player, caught fire, but it was difficult to solve the first set because of the frequent mistakes.
In particular, it seemed to collapse when organizational power such as defense or connection was needed. In the 22-21 1-point lead situation, the opponent’s attacking breath was not right, so Eun-ryeol Oh could not properly catch the ball that was just passed over, and in the end, he could not even attempt an attack and just passed it over and allowed a counterattack. In the end, it went to deuce, and in 26-26 Oh Eun-ryeol was unable to clear the ball from the back of the court and allowed a score. In the end, in the situation that followed, Lim Dong-hyuk’s offense came out and he gave up the first set.
Korean Air took a 7-4 lead at the beginning of the second set, but it went into a close match again as Kazemi allowed 3 serving aces in a row. In 19-19, Son Hyeon-jong’s time difference and Lim Dong-hyuk’s avant-garde open attack broke out one after another, and Korean Air, who seized the victory, returned the game to the starting point by capturing the second set with Son Hyeon-jong’s decisive serve score and Kazemi’s offense room in 23-21.
The 3rd set determined the direction of the game that day. Korean Air lost again after a close game of deuce. Korean Air, trailing 9-14 until the middle of the set, gained 4 points in a row thanks to Lim Dong-hyuk’s continuous attacks and Son Hyeon-jong’s blocking, and pursued it to 13-14. With Kazemi at the forefront, Kuwait again fell behind by 16-21 and lost, but thanks to the opponent’s mistake, they caught up to 22-24. Kazemi’s attack was a blocker touchout, but manager Tillikainen caught Kazemi’s net touch and requested a video review, and as a result of the readout, Kazemi was shown to have touched the net and dramatically entered the deuce.
The 3rd set deuce unfolded as a face-to-face confrontation between Lim Dong-hyuk, Kazemi, and Apposite Spiker. It was Kazemi who was ahead of her decision power. Kuwait’s Sporting Club, who cleared away Lim Dong-hyuk’s attacks after repeated one-step battles, immediately put the ball on Kazemi to regain the lead, and in the ensuing defense, he blocked Lim Dong-hyuk’s attacks and won the gearco set.
In the 4th set, Korean Air consistently led by 2-3 points, and seemed to lead the match to the 5th set. However, Kazemi had no intention of taking this match to the 5th set. Kazemi’s serve with Korean Air leading 23-22. Korean Air seemed likely to win the 4th set if this rotation was overcome, but Kazemi’s two serves hit the Korean Air court in quick succession. The situation quickly turned into a match point for the Kuwait Sporting Club. Kazemi hit another strong serve, and Korean Air’s receivers couldn’t properly catch his serve as the water rose, so they couldn’t even attempt an attack and just passed it. In a situation where Kazemi’s back attack was expected, the Kuwait Sporting Club finished the game with an unexpected quick attack.먹튀검증
Korean Air’s main gun Lim Dong-hyeok attempted 57 attacks, nearly half of the team’s 122 attacks, with a 54% success rate, scoring 34 points including 1 block and 2 serve points, doing his part. Lee Jun (14 points, 2 blocking) and Son Hyeon-jong (12 points, 1 blocking, 1 sub scoring) also showed decent performance, but 36 errors were fatal.
Kazemi, who single-handedly drove Korean Air to defeat, recorded a 52% attack success rate despite being responsible for 53% of the team’s attacks. Blocking recorded 3, and the serve ace recorded a whopping 7, devastating Korean Air receivers. It was a game that showed how one ace can dominate the game.