“I believe in the power of good preparation”
“It’s time to do it for real.”
Led by head coach Ko Hee-jin, Jung Kwan-jang snapped a four-game losing streak with a 3-1 (25-22 20-25 25-20 25-23) victory over Korea Expressway Corporation in the fourth round of the Dodram 2023 V League at Gimcheon Gymnasium on Monday. With the three additional points, Jung Kwan-jang (27 points) closed the gap on fourth-place IBK (31 points) to four points.
Outside hitter Jia, who missed the previous game with a cold, had a huge game. She scored a team-high 30 points. This is the most points she has scored in a single game in her career. Lee So-young also contributed 25 points.
After the game, coach Ko Hee-jin said, “Lee So-young’s offense in the last game was good. She can play that role. If she plays with responsibility, she will be a great help for the remaining games in 2024. He should definitely play a role.”
Jia’s errors were fewer. She had five errors while scoring 30 points. Coach Ko laughed and said, “I think it’s because she was out of shape. There were some parts where she was out of rhythm, but she played well. It’s not time to talk about performance. It’s a fight for three points every game. I think we need to focus on winning matches.”
Despite Mega scoring only eight points, Ko said, “We were able to match up with Vukiric in terms of formation. I told her that she might not be able to attack much in the first set. But when she went up, she had to take responsibility, and I told her to focus on her serve-blocking defense. With our formation, it was inevitable that we would have a low share. I just didn’t hit the ball as much, so I lost my concentration.”
There’s no looking back now. They’ve closed the gap on IBK to four points, but there’s still a long way to go. “Even during the game, the players were shouting, ‘It’s time to do it,’ and that’s how they want to do it,” said Ko. They always prepare hard. When the results don’t come, they are criticized for not preparing, which hurts me as a coach. They prepare and work harder than anyone else. I felt sorry for the players who were criticized because the results didn’t come. I believe in the power of preparation,” he confessed.
He continued, “The most important thing going forward is the most basic part. The trio of Mega, Jia, and Lee So-young must be more efficient in attack. What’s been disappointing is that we’ve been playing well, but then we have attack errors and lose sets. The players know that. We train not to commit errors. We need to improve our offensive efficiency, the basics. When we play well, we can’t lose to anyone. We will prepare well.”