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'Queen' Kim Yeon-koung's time is approaching

Kim Yeon-kyung (36, Heungkuk Life Insurance) is approaching time.

Kim Yeon-koung and Heungkuk Life Insurance will have a home game against Jeong Kwan-jang in the first round of the women's playoff for the Dodram 2023-2024 V-League at Samsan World Gymnasium in Incheon on Tuesday. This is the start of "spring volleyball," which is always intense and tense.

Heungkuk Life Insurance, which finished the regular league in second place, must pass the best-of-three PO to reach the championship match, which Hyundai Engineering & Construction is waiting for. In particular, attention is focusing on whether the "Volleyball Empress," who led the Korean women's volleyball team to the world's best, will retire or not.

Kim Yeon-koung's name continued to be mentioned at the V-League postseason media day held at Rivera Hotel in Cheongdam-dong, Seoul on Sunday. Marcello Avon Danza, head coach of Heungkuk Life Insurance, attended the event with Lee Ju-ah, and Kim Yeon-koung was mentioned intensively.

Perhaps, it is only natural. Due to the nature of a short-term battle in which players fight from the ground up, putting down everything including regular league rankings and opponent teams, the importance of leading players is absolutely essential. "If we have a championship match with Heungkuk Life Insurance, (Kim) Yeon-kyung, who is at the center of the team's offense, should stop her," said Lee Da-hyun, Hyundai Engineering & Construction, while Jeong Ho-young, president of the association, also said, "When Yeon-kyung survives, the mood of the opponent team will also increase. I am afraid of that. If we block her well, it will increase our team's morale."

Kim displayed impressive performance this season as well. She ranked among the top in all indicators including the top scorer as a Korean player, the second in overall offense and defense, the fifth in receiving, the seventh in Diggs, and the eighth in defense. It is rare to see such evenly distributed players in attack and defense.

The world of volleyball predicts that this season will be Kim Yeon-koung's "last dance." Such speculation is supported by the fact that the contract was extended only by one year after last season when the team won two championships first, but lost three consecutive games and ended up losing the trophy like a lie.
Like that, another season has entered the final stage. Although she may have already made up her mind, Kim Yeon-koung herself is not bringing up sensitive words. She only repeats the story, "I'm still thinking about it. I'll make no comment for now." Similar things were said at the end of the regular season.

In any case, her biggest challenge is definitely her victory. Even if she says goodbye and continues her career, she looks to higher ground. The key is to manage her condition. One game will take place every other day, and even ironclad players will have difficulty enduring the "spring volleyball." In addition, veteran player born in 1988 played all games without a break in the regular season league. One factor to look forward to is experience. "Even though she is very tired and tired, she cannot be an excuse," said Kim, who plans to display "spring volleyball" splendidly this year based on accumulated know-how.
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Wednesday, March 20, 2024
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