Two wins in a row, less “start-up” risk, and the Woori Card exceeds expectations

It’s more than expected.

Woori Card is riding a two-game winning streak in the just-started Dodram 2023-2024 V-League Men’s Division. After defeating Samsung Fire 3-1 in the opening game, they swept Hyundai Capital 3-0 in the second game on the 18th. They have a total of six points from the two matches.

It’s a result that exceeds expectations. The Woori Card underwent an extensive off-season rebuild. They lost big man Na Kyung-bok to KB Insurance via free agency when he enlisted in the military, and brought in Han Sung-jung and Song Myung-geun to bolster the side. The only foreign player was Matei Kok, who had never played in the V-League before. Kim Ji-han, who hasn’t been a complete starter until last season, was also confirmed as the best member.

The biggest change is the weight of the main setter. Shin Young-cheol, the head coach of Woori Card, chose Han Tae-joon, a second-year rookie, as the main setter and trained him in the offseason. With the team now in the Asian Quarterfinals, it was a huge change for the team, so much so that Shin described it as “like a start-up” when he looked at the squad. The changes were significant.스포츠토토

Matej, the “new face” who was feared, scored 29 and 27 points in the first two games. He’s averaging a high 63% offensive success rate. Add to that his powerful serve, which totaled four points. He has two blocks. All in all, Matei’s steady offensive performance has allayed concerns about his lack of familiarity with the V-League. AsiaQuarter signing Issei Otake has also settled into the unfamiliar V-League well as a middle blocker with a strong center presence. Outside hitters Han Sung-jung and Kim Ji-han have also been consistent throughout the offense.

Setter Han Tae-joon is also stable. He hasn’t made a single error and has done a good job of leading the left, right, and center attacks. He has 12.4 sets per set. This surpasses Hwang Taek-ui’s record of 10.6 sets last season. It’s only been two matches, but he’s handled the weight better than I feared.

Of course, a change of this magnitude comes with risks. Volleyball is a sport where organization is as important as individual ability. It can get better over time, but it’s not easy to be this good this early on. This is where Shin’s skills and know-how as a team builder come into play.


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