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V-League Championship Pairings Set

Posted March. 25, 2006 03:10,   


The long-awaited 2005-06 V-League Volleyball Championship begins tomorrow. On the men’s side, the Samsung Fire, winners of nine straight championships, will meet Hyundai Capital, which has led the regular league for two years in a row. The rivalry on the women’s side is between defending champ Korea Highway Corporation and this year’s dark horse, Hungkuk Life.

Hyundai Capital coach Kim Ho-cheol (51) and Samsung coach Shin Chi-yong (51) have been close friends for 40 years. Drawing from his playing and coaching experiences in the Italian volleyball league, Kim uses a match analyzer in a scientific approach to volleyball.

Shin is known for his diamond-cut-diamond strategy, and Samsung has played particularly well against Hyundai Capital recently.

Kim said that Samsung will not get the better of his team this year, while Shin admitted that Hyundai’s current roster outweighs theirs, but maintained his confidence, saying, “Their arsenal may be superior to ours. But not everybody is championship material. It takes experience.”

The most significant change for both teams this year was in their roster of foreign players. Hyundai Capital capitalized on their investment in an American player, Sean Rooney (207cm), while the Samsung Fire recently replaced Brazilian player Ache with U.S player Priddy (196cm). The highly elastic American is capable of a 98cm vertical leap.

Women’s Rivalry-

“Super Rookie” Kim Yeon-gyeong (Hungkuk Life) and five year veteran Yim Yu-jin (Korea Highway Corp.) are expected to clash in the upcoming women’s championship match. Kim sits alone atop the women’s volleyball individual rankings with 756 scored points, a 39.68 percent combined attack rate, and 0.41 aces per game in the regular league.

Yim Yu-jin, coming back from injury, proved that she’s alive and well by scoring 25 points in a playoff second round match against Korea Tobacco and Ginseng (KT&G).

Chang Jeon jeon@donga.com