Korean women’s volleyball is on a long journey to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics. The 2023 International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) Volleyball Nations League (VNL), which opens next month, is the first stage.
The Korea Volleyball Association announced the list of 16 national teams to compete in the VNL on the 10th. The national team led by head coach Cesar Hernandez included Kim Da-in (Hyundai E&C), Kim Ji-won (GS Caltex), and Yum Hye-seon (KGC Ginseng Corporation) as setters, and Moon Jeong-won (Korea Expressway Corporation) and Shin Yeon-kyung (IBK Industrial Bank of Korea) as libero. The outside heater line consists of six members: Kang So-hui (GS Caltex), Kim Da-eun and Kim Mi-yeon (Lee Sang-heungkuk Life Insurance), Park Jeong-ah (Korea Expressway Corporation), Jeong Ji-yoon (Hyundai E&C), and Pyo Seung-joo (IBK Industrial Bank of Korea). Moon Ji-yoon (GS Caltex) was selected as the Apposite Spiker. Joining the middle blockers are Park Eun-jin and Jung Ho-young (KGC Ginseng Corporation), Lee Da-hyun (Hyundai E&C), and Joo-ah Lee (Heungkuk Life Insurance).
Korean women’s volleyball, which is undergoing a generational change under the direction of coach Gonzalez, who took the helm in 2021 as the successor of coach Stefano Lavarini, who led the team to the semifinals of the Tokyo Olympics, is Kim Yeon-kyung (Heungkuk Life Insurance), Kim Su-ji (IBK Industrial Bank), and Yang Hyo-jin (Hyundai E&C). It is struggling because it cannot fill the gaps left by the main players of the national team. In last year’s VNL, for the first time since the start of the tournament, it had the disgrace of being the lowest ranked team in the preliminary round of’all losses and draws’. In the group stage of the World Championships that followed, they barely won against Croatia in the final match. Coach Cesar ended his 16-game losing streak since his appointment.
The year 2023 is important for the national team to stand on the stage of the Paris Olympics. Women’s volleyball will play World Qualifiers for the Paris Olympics and Asian Games in Hangzhou in September after VNL. In the Olympic qualifiers, in order to get a ticket to the finals, you must finish in the top two of each group (three), which includes eight countries. It’s not easy in reality. In order to qualify for the remaining 5 spots, the team needs to win as many as possible until next year’s VNL qualifying round to raise their rankings.
This year’s VNL will be held in Antalya, Turkey, Brasilia, Brazil, Suwon, Korea, Nagoya, Japan, Hong Kong, and Bangkok, Thailand from May 30th to July 2nd, with a three-week schedule. 16 countries compete in the competition, changing groups every week. In the first week (May 30-June 4) held in Antalya, Korea was tied in a group with Turkey, Thailand, Italy, Poland, the United States, Serbia and Canada. In the second week schedule (June 13-18) held in Brasilia, Brazil, Croatia, USA, Japan, Germany, Thailand and Serbia were placed in the same group. The third week schedule (June 27-July 2) will be held at Chilbo Gymnasium in Seosuwon. South Korea faces the United States, Poland, Germany, Bulgaria, Serbia, Dominican Republic and China. The final tournament will be held on July 13-17 (Korean time) in Arlington, Texas, USA. 스포츠토토
On the 24th, the national team enters the national athlete’s village in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province, and begins training.