It seems to be caught, but it is now trying to hold the championship trophy that can not be caught. Hyundai E&C middle blocker Lee Da-hyun (21) and setter Da-in Kim (24) of the women’s professional volleyball division do not want to leave regrets in 2023.
Hyundai E&C finished 2022 in first place. After the opening, he continued his upward trend by winning 15 consecutive games, but fell into two consecutive losses, but finished 2022 at the highest place among the seven clubs with 15 wins, 2 losses and 42 points. In the two games they played in the new year, they won straight away and regained their spirits. As for Hyundai E&C, the goal is to finish the season while maintaining the current ranking to the end.
Lee Da-hyun and Kim Da-in, who met at the gym in Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, where Hyundai Engineering & Construction’s accommodation is located, said in unison, “The New Year’s wish is by far the victory” as they celebrated the year of the cat in 2023. Interviews were conducted at the end of the year.
Hyundai E&C had two experiences of failing to win the championship cup even after ranking first in the season. In the 2019-2020 season, even though it led the regular league, ‘Spring Volleyball’ could not be held as the season ended early due to Corona 19. Even in the 2021-2022 season, it ran first place with overwhelming results, but the end of the league was decided in the aftermath of the spread of Corona 19 with only 1 victory point left in confirming the first place.
Kim Da-in expressed “winning” as “something that can be reached but is not reached.” At the same time, he looked back, saying, “The opportunity came, but it didn’t reach me to the point of jokingly saying, ‘I guess I’m not lucky’.”
Lee Da-hyun compared it to ‘sand’ and said, “If you try to catch it, it all slips away.” That’s why the memories from a year ago are bigger, but it was so sad that it happened twice. I wanted to experience the thrill of winning, and I wanted to play a big game like the playoffs. It is an important game, so I think my immersion will increase, but I have a longing to play a ‘big game’.”
Their performance is important to achieve the dream of ‘winning’. Lee Da-hyun is showing a steeper growth this season. In 15 games played in 2022, he recorded 48.57% of the mobile attacks, ranking second in the league in this category, and followed team senior Yang Hyo-jin (55.21%) with 54.02% in quick attacks. Hyundai Engineering & Construction’s middle blocker, composed of Yang Hyo-jin and Lee Da-hyeon, is considered the best among the seven clubs.
Dain Kim is also an indispensable part of the team this season. In volleyball, which is called ‘setter play’, stable ball distribution supported Hyundai E&C’s upward trend. From the 2020-2021 season, he has been improving after taking his starting position.
Lee Da-hyun said, “The turning point was that I went to the national team last year with (Kim) Da-in. He looked back, saying, “It seems that the new encounter with the same training method in the national team still has an impact.” Lee Da-hyun and Kim Da-in competed in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), which was called the prelude to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Those who wore the Taegeuk mark for the first time in their lives did not make it to the final entry for the Tokyo Olympics, but they gained valuable experience. After failing to participate in the Olympics, I drove directly to the club’s accommodation, and in the process we talked a lot and got closer. Now, even on days off, we video call each other.
Lee Da-hyun said, “I talk a lot about volleyball with Da-in. When they meet, more than 80% of them are about volleyball. We talk about strategic parts or technology, and the conversation goes well. When I go out to exercise, Dain unnie gives me a lot of feedback.”
Kim Da-in said, “As experience accumulates, I can afford it too.” The setter should play a leading role, but since he had no experience, he was always dragged along. Now I think I have my own style without being completely attracted to it.”
They all agreed that the horizontal team atmosphere in which opinions are exchanged regardless of age is the driving force behind Hyundai E&C’s organizational power. Lee Da-hyun said, “Yang Hyo-jin and other older sisters set the mood. Thanks to that, it seems that her juniors are doing the same,” he said. He even likened her senior Yang Hyo-jin to a ‘side tongs instructor’. She added, “She doesn’t have to say much during the game, but she delivers in the right place. She gave me a lot of advice from a junior point of view, so it’s easy to hear ‘I’ll just do this’ during the game.” Dain Kim also said, “Compared to other teams, we are very horizontal. The unnies accept and adapt to the opinions of younger juniors. Juniors can speak more easily. I think we are producing good results because everyone joins forces to produce good results.”
He said that the support of passionate fans is also a great help to Hyundai E&C’s run. Lee Da-hyun and Kim Da-in desperately feel the importance of fans. Lee Da-hyun said, “During his days at Joongang Girls’ High School, he once served as a ball boy for GS Caltex. It was 2015, but the stands were empty, so I sometimes dozed off.” When you hear cheers during a game, more adrenaline comes out. So I think it’s really right to repay the fans.”
Dain Kim also remembers the faces of the fans who come often. He said, “I like it just because they recognize me, so I try to remember those who always come. There are fans who even throw birthday parties for me, and I am truly grateful. In the past, when the men’s game was over and the women’s game was held, when all the fans left, it was sad. Now, a lot of support from many fans is a great strength.” The All-Star Game, which will be held on January 29th, is also planning to present a special ceremony for fans. 스포츠토토
I have a strong desire to win the championship in order to repay the support of the fans. When asked about his personal New Year’s wishes, he still chose winning the team as his top priority.
Kim Da-in said, “There are a lot of especially injured people this season, so I hope everyone doesn’t get sick. I hope there are no more injuries and we can all ‘challenge’ for the championship.” Lee Da-hyun also said, “It ends the moment you are satisfied,” and said that he would run for the championship without letting go of his vigilance until the end.
With this attitude, the ultimate goal is to develop every season and become a mature player. Lee Da-hyun said, “I want to become a senior who is not obstructed in communication, just as our team is now, where the older sisters hold the center well and accept the opinions of juniors well.”
Dain Kim expressed her wish, saying, “I am grateful because there are more ways to go forward, and I want to become a player who grows and develops little by little every year.”