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Women’s volleyball AG, caught in the first game… Semifinal match against Vietnam

Korean women’s volleyball is about to face a game it ‘cannot afford to lose’. 

The match is against Vietnam at the Hangzhou Asian Games (AG), which will be held on the morning of October 1st. If they win, they are likely to advance to the semifinals, and if they lose, the possibility of failure is very high.

For women’s volleyball, advancing to the semifinals of the Asian Games and even winning a medal is important in many aspects. This is because it is the last international competition to be held this year, and the humiliation of repeated severe performance at international competitions must be broken. 

How the team performs at the Asian Games, which many people watch, may also affect the success of the V-League in the 2023-2024 season, which opens a week after the Asian Games.

Moreover, men’s volleyball ranked 7th in the Hangzhou Asian Games, which ended on the 26th, the worst performance in the history of Asian Games participation. At the same time, he is receiving a lot of criticism from fans and the media.

Men’s volleyball was also the worst in terms of content. It still adhered to the outdated national team player composition and play pattern, which was contrary to the world volleyball trend. Then, in this tournament, they were largely pushed out by Asian mid- to lower-tier teams that were rapidly growing with advanced volleyball styles by recruiting foreign coaches. In the end, a catastrophe occurred where they lost to teams ranked 51st to 73rd in the world, or barely won after a close full set.

The problem is that the men’s volleyball disaster is not ‘someone else’s problem’ for women’s volleyball as well. If they perform as they have shown in international competitions, there is a high possibility that they will lose to Vietnam again and fail to advance to the semifinals early.

Women’s volleyball had already lost to Vietnam with a set score of 2-3 in the group stage of the 2023 Asian Championships held in Thailand on August 30. Even though he won the 1st and 2nd sets first, he lost the 3rd to 5th sets and suffered a reverse sweep loss. If all the players on the national team do not fight against Vietnam with strong fighting spirit, there is a possibility that they will be defeated even more in vain than last time. 

If the core problem is not improved… Women’s volleyball is also concerned about a ‘disaster’

In order to successfully advance to the semifinals of the Asian Games, the most important things to do are ‘lethargic defensive organization’, which has been frequently exposed in international competitions, ‘offense as usual in the V-League’, ‘ Key issues such as the coach’s failure to manage the game must be improved. 

When the opposing team’s attack is effectively blocked by our team’s front line players, or when the opposing team’s feint attack comes in, we must succeed in scoring a counterattack through persistent defense and sophisticated connection movements. 

However, the current Korean women’s volleyball team often looks at each other and fails to defend, or is anxious about connecting moves, and is in a hurry to hand the ball over to the opposing team when there is a scoring opportunity. This is the defensive organization seen in typical weak teams. Without thorough preparation for the defense system in advance and the determination to receive it first, there will never be improvement.

Also, in a counterattack situation, attackers must think that all balls are coming to them and move quickly to prepare for the attack. And you have to hit the ball quickly and with strong power while watching the opponent blocking. In international competitions, if you hit or just paint like you did in the V-League, there is almost a 100% chance that you will be blocked by the opposing team’s blocking or that you will be conceded due to defense and counterattacks.

Coach Cesar (46)’s player selection and game management must also reduce defeat as much as possible. When some players are unfit or underperforming, a quick replacement must be made to turn the situation around, but there are many cases in which the underperforming players are left on the court until the team is unable to recover due to consecutive goals lost.

Also, in a situation where Korea is ahead by a large margin and the opposing team is following up on scores, operation time must be called before the game is over to provide appropriate countermeasures and morale recharge. However, there were often scenes where operation time was called only after the game was overturned. Such operation times are likely to further depress the atmosphere. 

It was all caught in the first game… Vietnam needs to win to be ‘likely to reach the semifinals’

Meanwhile, the Hangzhou Asian Games have the same format as the Asian Championships last August. It is the same unique method mainly applied in competitions organized by the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC).

In this year’s Asian Games women’s volleyball, a total of 13 participating countries will be divided into 4 groups and compete in the group preliminaries. And the 1st and 2nd place from each group advance to the quarterfinals. 

Korea was in Group C. In Group C, three teams: Korea (world ranking 40th), Vietnam (39th), and Nepal (84th or lower) will play the full league. And in Group A, China (6th), India (65th), and North Korea (84th or lower) will play the full league.

In the quarterfinals, the four teams ranked 1st and 2nd in Groups A and C are again in one group (Group E) and play against two teams from different groups once. In addition, when calculating the final ranking of the quarterfinals, the wins, losses and points of teams that have already competed in the group stage are added together. In this way, the 1st and 2nd places in the final ranking advance to the semifinals. The same goes for Group B (including Thailand) and Group D (including Japan).

Therefore, a team that advanced to the quarterfinals from the same group in the group stage must win to have an absolute advantage in advancing to the semifinals. In Group C, Korea and Vietnam are highly likely to advance to the quarterfinals. Nepal suffers from a significant decline in power.

Therefore, if Korea wins against Vietnam, even if it loses to China in the quarterfinals, it can advance to the semifinals as long as it wins against North Korea or India. Conversely, if they lose to Vietnam, they must win against China, North Korea, or India in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals. 

This is because it is not easy for South Korea and Vietnam to defeat the powerful Chinese first team, 토토 and Vietnam has a high chance of winning against North Korea or India. In the end, if Korea loses to Vietnam, it is very likely that they will fail to advance to the semifinals, just like they did in the Asian Championships.


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