The Korean women’s national volleyball team departed for Turkiye on June 22 to compete in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL).메이저놀이터
The team will kick off the tournament on June 1 with their first match against Turkuye.
The team is facing the challenge of generational change. Last year, South Korea lost all 12 games in the VNL. They also went 1-4 at the World Championship. Last year, the team’s international record was 1-16, and it dropped to 23rd in the FIVB rankings.
The team was without the services of Kim Yeon-kyung, Kim Soo-ji (Heungkuk Life) and Yang Hyo-jin (Hyundai E&C), who announced their retirement from the national team after reaching the quarterfinals at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
As VNL kicks off this year’s international competition, the players feel a great deal of responsibility. Kim Yeon-kyung also joined the team as an advisor.
In a recent interview with this publication, Kim said of the team, “We are still gaining experience,” and added, “I know that they are preparing hard for this year, so I expect them to be better this year than last year.”
The national team’s performance is not just about the record itself. It also has an impact on the entire domestic league. If players bring their experience from the big stage to the domestic league, it can help raise the level of the league.
“If you play well for the national team and come to the domestic league with good experience, you can inspire other players who didn’t go to the international tournament,” says Kim.
It doesn’t stop there. International performance also affects league success. After the Tokyo Olympics, the popularity of women’s volleyball began to soar in the 2021-2022 season, as more people became interested in the sport after watching the national team’s performance at the Olympics.
Volleyball also has a lot of aspiring players. After the 2002 World Cup, soccer dreams were born, and after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, baseball dreams, known as the “Beijing Kids,” grew up and are now playing in the leagues. The same can be said for volleyball. “Young athletes, middle and high school students, will be inspired to play sports after watching international competitions,” Kim said.
“If not only students but also professional athletes who didn’t make the national team have the dream of ‘I want to join the national team,’ women’s volleyball will last longer,” she said.