A 7-time MVP, an ’18-year’ volleyball emperor…”I’ll take a shot”

“My personal record was better in the first round….”

Heungkuk Life swept the Dodram 2023-2024 V-League Women’s Division home match against Pepper Savings Bank AI Peppers 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-17) at Samsan World Gymnasium in Incheon on Friday. Leaders Heungkuk Life extended their winning streak to nine games and improved to 12-1 with 33 points.

Kim Yeon-kyung continued her solid performance as the ‘Volleyball Emperor’. On the day, Kim scored 17 points with a 51.85% attack percentage. The AI Peppers were quickly overwhelmed by Kim’s skillful offense, which included a mix of hard-hitting and soft-hitting.

Four days earlier, Heungkuk Life had won a hard-fought match against AI Peppers that went to a full set.

After the match, Kim Yeon-kyung said, “I didn’t prepare well in the second round. I reviewed those things and analyzed my opponent a lot, and it worked out well. I think we did a good job in terms of blocking and defense, as well as our serve. We knew our opponent well and played well.”

Prior to the match, Kim was named the MVP of the second round. As the team’s ace, Kim scored 135 points during the second round, ranking eighth in scoring (first among Korean players), seventh in offense with a 41.03% attack percentage (first among Korean players), and sixth in serving with an average of 0.2 per set, leading Heungkuk Sinsang to a second-round sweep. Kim received 11 of the 31 first-place votes (Silva and Moma each received eight, Kim Dain, Lee Myeong-ok, and Yelena each received one, and one abstention). This is Kim’s seventh career round MVP.

Kim said, “My personal record was better in the first round. I think it’s because my team won the whole series. Thank you to my teammates. I think I should take a shot,” she smiled.

Despite having only one loss since the start, the team is only four points behind second-place Hyundai E&C (9-4, 29 points).

“I can’t be nervous,” Kim said. It’s good that we haven’t lost a point, so we need to focus on every game.”

Before the match, Kim celebrated her 18th anniversary with her teammate Kim Soo-ji. Kim said, “I’m embarrassed. I feel like it’s been a long time. They tell me to complete 20 years, but I’m old,” she said, adding, “First of all, I’m working hard this season.”


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