‘Inferior in both height and attack power’ Cesar, helpless defeat by Italy… Heading to Paris is far away 

The chances of the Korean women’s volleyball team, led by coach Cesar Hernández, going to Paris are getting lower.

Korea lost 0-3 (11-25, 20-25, 17-25) against Italy in the first match of Group C of the 2024 Paris Olympic qualifiers held at the Atlas Arena in Łódź, Poland in the early morning of the 17th (Korean time).

It was a match between Italy, ranked 5th in the world by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), and Korea, ranked 36th. Italy laughed not only in terms of height but also in the firepower battle. In particular, Korea struggled with the impeccable blocking of the 202cm Apogit Ekaterina Antropova, born in 2003, and the 196cm middle blocker Anna Danesy, born in 1996. Setter Francesca Bosio also showed off various patterns by utilizing her offensive resources evenly. In addition to Danesh, 195cm middle blocker Marina Rubian, born in 2000, was also actively utilized.

In Italy, key members who had led the national team, such as Paola Egono and Alessia Oro, were excluded from the list, so players who had consistently gained experience through international competitions participated in this tournament.

On this day, Antropova and Pietrini, who also played as a pair, scored 13 and 12 points, respectively. Miriam Sylla and Danesh also scored in double figures.

In a situation where Lee Sun-woo joined the national team late, Korea hired Kwon Min-ji as an apositem. Setter Kim Da-in, outside heaters Park Jeong-ah and Kang So-hwi, middle blockers Jeong Ho-young and Joo-ah Lee, and libero Moon Jeong-won were appointed as starters. Kim Ji-won and Lee Han-bi were also brought in as replacements. The highest scorer in Korea was Kang So-hwi. He hit hard at the end of the third set and scored 10 points.

It was clear that they were objectively inferior in terms of military power. Nevertheless, Korea was inferior not only in height and attack power, but also in serve, defense, and speed.

The reception was shaky from the start. Jeong Ho-young’s quick attack was blocked at once. Korea was down 0-4. He was able to score his first point due to an opponent’s double contact error. Kang So-hwi scored his first attack, making it 2-5. Afterwards, Juah Lee’s moving attack was also read by Silas. He scored with precise blocking timing, leading to an 8-3 lead. Italy gained momentum and succeeded in Rubian’s mobile attack, widening the score gap to 13-4. Kang So-hwi also struggled on the left, unable to overcome the opponent’s high blocking. It was 9-21. Italy comfortably took the first set. In the first set alone, the team recorded a blocking score of 5-0, showing an overwhelming advantage in height.

In the second set, Korea blocked Silla’s attack and took a 3-0 lead. The score was 6-3 due to Antropova’s consecutive attacks. Kang So-hwi’s serve was sharp. Park Jeong-ah’s successful counterattack continued the trend of 7-4. Soon, Italy was balanced at 9-9 on Rubian’s serve time. Kang So-hwi’s quick attack came out after a long time. It became 12-11. Lee Joo-ah’s moving attack made it 13-12, but the experienced Sila saw an empty space and succeeded with a series of attacks to tie the game. Soon, Italy showed off its powerful attack power and took a 16-14 lead. Italy, who ran away to 19-16 thanks to Pietrini’s successful counterattack, was the first to reach 25 points.먹튀검증

At the beginning of the third set, Hoyoung Jeong blocked Danesh’s quick attack. It was not possible to stop Antropova’s high-RBI attack. Kwon Min-ji’s attack didn’t work either. Korea was drawn 1-5. It didn’t even cover the attack. They also gave up an attack point to Silas, making it 2-8. Korea immediately brought in Kim Da-in and appointed Kim Ji-won. Kwon Min-ji’s bold attack led to a score of 6-12, but the score gap could not be narrowed. Korea trailed by 12-18, but Italy broke the lead with Silvia Nwakalo. Korea again made it 13-19 with a fast attack by Ho-young Jeong. Kim Ji-won actively utilized Jeong Ho-young. Italy, who reached the 20-point mark first with a 7-point lead, finished the game in the 3rd set.

Korean women’s volleyball has reached the finals three times in a row, including the 2012 London, 2016 Rio, and 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He challenged himself to advance to the finals for the fourth time in a row. In the Olympic preliminary round, a total of 24 teams will be divided into three groups and compete. The top two teams in each group can secure a trip to Paris. Afterwards, the right to advance to the Olympics is given based on world ranking. Korea’s trip to Paris is becoming increasingly distant.

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