WOORI CARD MEN’S TEAM REACHES 10 WINS, HYUNDAI E&C CHASES DOWN LEADER HEUNGKUK LIFE

Men’s professional volleyball leader Woori Card became the first team to reach 10 wins (3 losses) in the season after overtaking ‘nemesis’ OK Financial Group.Woori Card defeated OK Financial Group 3-2 (25-21 21-25 25-19 28-30 15-13) in straight sets in their Dodram 2023-2024 V-League match at Sangryoksu Gymnasium in Ansan, South Korea on Wednesday.After going 0-3 without taking a set from OK Financial Group in the first and second rounds, Woori Card took two points at the expense of OK Financial Group in the first match of the third round to stay on top of the standings with 27 points.OK Financial Group, with 22 points (8-5), moved up one spot to third place.At 12-12 in the fifth set of a tightly contested match, Matej Kok, nicknamed Matej, targeted OK Financial Group’s Leonardo Leiva Martinez, nicknamed Leo, with an awl serve to the left side of the court.Matei’s serve went over the net like a missile and hit the OK Financial Group court.OK Financial Group head coach Masashi Ogino called timeout to break Matei’s rhythm, but Matei was unperturbed, this time unleashing a cannonball serve into the center of the OK Financial Group court to earn match point.At 14-13, Matej scored a right backhand touchout to end the long match.With a whopping 42 points, Mattei narrowly missed out on the triple crown (back-attack, serve, and block of at least three points each) by falling one block short. However, he had the last laugh as he won the fixer’s battle against Leo (38 points).After Woori Card took the first set with Matei’s strong serve, OK Financial Group evened the score in the second set with Leo’s hard hitting.

After Woori Card managed to close the gap a bit in the middle of the set with the help of quick-opening kills from homegrown attackers Han Sung-jung and Kim Ji-han to take the third set, OK Financial Group came back with a deuce at the end of the fourth set with Leo’s storm of kills, and then combined Leo’s quick-opening points with Woori Card’s Han Sung-jung attacking errors to win the set and push the match to a fifth set.Leo scored 12 points in the fourth set alone.However, just like in the first set, two sharp serves by Matei in the final minutes of the set brought OK Financial Group to its knees from the brink of victory.Woori Card trio Matei, Han Sung-jung (16 points) and Kim Ji-han (14 points) and OK Financial Group trio Leo, Song Hee-chae (23 points) and Shin Jong-jin (14 points) showed off their fiery offense.In the women’s match at Jangchung Gymnasium in Seoul, Hyundai E&C swept GS Caltex 3-0 (25-23 25-17 25-19).Hyundai E&C showed a dominant performance, never losing the lead after the 10th point of the set.With the three points from behind, Hyundai E&C remained in second place in the league with a 9-4 record and 29 points.They are now one point behind league leader Heungkuk Life (11-1-1, 30 points).Third-place GS Caltex remained steady in the standings with eight wins, five losses, and 22 points.Hyundai E&C’s Leticia Moma Basoko (real name Moma) 스포츠토토존 led both teams with 23 points.Yang Hyo-jin added 17 points.

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