Women’s professional volleyball team Hyundai E&C defeated Pepper Savings Bank to extend its winning streak to two matches at the 2023 Gumi Dodram Cup Professional Volleyball Tournament (KOVO Cup).
Hyundai E&C defeated Pepper Savings Bank 3-0 (25-21 25-16 25-19) in straight sets in the second match of Group B of the tournament at Park Jung-hee Gymnasium in Gumi on Nov. 31.
After a shutout victory over KGC Ginseng Corporation on the 29th, Hyundai E&C won 3-0 in straight sets for the second consecutive match. With two consecutive wins, HMC has a good chance of advancing to the quarterfinals and will play the third match of the group stage against Korea Expressway Corporation on March 2.
Senior middle blocker Yang Hyo-jin led the way for HMC with a match-high 18 kills (61.9% attack percentage), including five blocks. Outside hitter Kim Joo-hyang added 13 points and outside hitter Hwang Yeon-ju added 12 points.
Pepper Savings Bank, on the other hand, dropped its second straight game, falling to 0-3.
Pepper suffered its second straight shutout loss as no one else scored in double figures, although outside hitter Lee Han-bi had nine points. Park Jung-ah, the highest-paid player in the women’s game (775 million won) through free agency, made her Pepper debut as a substitute in the first set, 15-12, but did not score.
Set 1 was the decider. Hyundai E&C was down 14-18 as Pepper’s flankers, Lee Han-bi and Chae Sun-ah, kept giving up errors. Pepper had no errors in the first set.
However, Hyundai E&C had an ace in Yang Hyo-jin. Yang Hyo-jin’s back-to-back open spikes and Apogee Hwang Yeon-ju’s points gradually narrowed the gap, and at 19-19, Kim Joo-hyang’s open attack brought them back into the game.
With momentum on their side, Hyundai E&C combined a kill by Yang Hyo-jin and a service ace by Kim Joo-hyang to take a 24-21 lead and clinch the first set with an ace by Hwang Yeon-joo.
Yang Hyo-jin had nine kills, including two blocks, and a 63.64% attack percentage in the first set.
After taking the lead, Hyundai E&C had an easier time in the second set.
At 6-5 in the second set, Yang Hyo-jin’s opener, an opponent error, and Hwang Yeon-ju’s back-to-back kills quickly extended the lead to 11-5. With a comfortable lead, Hyundai E&C took the second set with a kill by Yang Hyo-jin.
The third set was similar. Leading 19-12, 고스톱 Hyundai E&C eventually sealed the match with a kill by Jung Si-young on 24-19 match point.