She’s hungry, starting setter.
Women’s professional volleyball GS Caltex’s Kim Ji-won is ready for the 2023-2024 season. “I want to show more of ‘Setter Kim Ji-won’ and make her more known,” she said before the ‘Kicks Maru with Fans’ fan departure ceremony at 현금홀덤사이트 Jangchung Gymnasium in Seoul on the 13th.
She joined GS Caltex as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020-2021 season after graduating from Jecheon Girls High School. In her first season, she played eight games and 17 sets, attempting only 11 sets. In 2021-2022, she played 24 matches and 49 sets, recording 672 set attempts, 256 successes, and an average of 5.224 points per set. Last season, she had 1461 set attempts, 579 successes, and an average of 6.160 per set in 31 matches and 94 sets. As a backup, she gradually increased her playing time and gained experience.
This season, there was a change. Starting setter Ahn Hye-jin is out for the season due to shoulder surgery. Non-Asian quota players Iris Tolenada and Kim Ji-won will have to work together.
“I’ve always been a second setter. I’m actually greedy. I want to keep playing as a starter,” she confessed, adding, “When I played full-time during the KOVO Cup, I realized that I wanted to bring this opportunity to the regular season. I practiced a lot, so I was confident.” Kim Ji-won and GS Caltex went on to win the KOVO Cup this year.
They will have to compete with Tolenada in good faith. “When Tolenada asked me how old I was, I told her I was born in 2001. She told me, ‘You have a bright future. She’s young, but she’s good at volleyball.” “She’s very friendly and has a very active personality. When we train, he goes to the players first and asks them questions. I think it’s good.” “I don’t think it’s a competition. If she’s shaky, I’m shaky, and if I’m shaky, she’s shaky, and I hope we can help each other and finish the season well,” she said sincerely.
As for Kim Ji-won’s strengths, she said, “I’m confident in my fastball sets. It’s good that middle blocker (Jung) Dae-young came (free agent transfer),” she said, adding, “I always work on my fastbreaks with my sister after practice to perfect my game. Some people say that I have the best chemistry with middle blocker (Oh) Se-yeon.” “Coach (Cha Sang-hyun) told us to use fastballs when we can. The center makes it easier for both wings to attack.”
There are also things she wants to work on. “I have to make a good set for her when she doesn’t receive, but I don’t think I’m good at it yet.It’s hard,” she said, adding, “The only way is to keep practicing. I have to practice a lot to get under the ball quickly.If I work hard, it will work out.”
The off-season trip to the national team broadened her horizons.”The more I played, the more I realized that each country had a lot of good players.I tried to learn from them. I thought, ‘I should play like that later,'” she said. “I saw Polish setter Joanna Bowsch and American setter Lauren Kalini play well. I especially fell in love with Kalini. She was very strong.”
The team returned home from the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games on Aug. 8.After a day’s rest, she got right back to training. With the start of the 2023-2024 season just 14 days away, there was little time to get to know her teammates, but Kim Ji-won said, “I wasn’t worried about getting along with the domestic players because we played in the KOVO Cup.However, I trained with foreigner Gisele Silva for the first time on the 10th.It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, but I think I need to adjust more.”
As for Silva, “She has a lot of power when she hits the ball. I thought I could die if I got hit in the face,” he said. “He’s got power and he’s really good.I think I’m the only one who can do well in our team.”
GS Caltex will play its first game of the season against ChungKwanJang at its home venue, Seoul Jangchung Gymnasium, on May 20.”I think it will be a very important season for me.There will be a lot to feel and learn.I want to spend the next six months well,” she said, adding, “The team goal is my goal.I hope we win the championship.”
“I want to improve as a player, and I want to hear people say, ‘You’ve really improved, you’ve changed,'” she continued.
Finally, Kim Ji-won said, “I want to thank the fans who always come to the games.Last season, the team did not perform well (5th place).This season, I want to make sure we get results and show our fans a lot of good things.”