Woori Card outside hitter Kim Ji-han, 24, has become a fixture on the roster.
After showing promise last season, he has become the team’s main offensive threat this season, replacing the departed Na Kyung-bok (KB Insurance).
In a season where he has become the centerpiece of the team’s offense, it’s hard not to be excited for the team’s run to the top of the standings.
“I don’t feel nervous or pressured against Korean Air or any other team,” Kim said after the Korean Air game at Jangchung Gymnasium in Seoul on July 7. Rather, I look forward to the match and think about how to make it more fun.”
On the day, Woori Card defeated Korean Air 3-1 in straight sets to maintain its lead in the men’s volleyball standings.
Woori Card cemented its nemesis status by winning the best-of-three series against Korean Air, a ‘favorite’ to win its fourth consecutive title this season.
“It’s good in the long run that we won three straight against Korean Air,” said Kim Ji-han, who scored 19 points in the win. “I think we’ll meet Korean Air in the playoffs or the championship. It’s good for our confidence to win like this.”
“Compared to last season, I can feel myself improving my vision and movement. It’s fun because I can feel my skills improving,” he added.
Kim has a close friend and “rival” of the same age in Lim Sung-jin (KEPCO).
Lim, who has gone on to represent South Korea in men’s volleyball, was named the men’s round-robin Most Valuable Player (MVP) for his second-round performance.
His friend’s honor is a source of joy and motivation for Kim.
“I’m in the same position as my best friend (Lim Sung-jin). He was the MVP of the second round, so I feel like I should be the MVP of the third round.” “I’m not jealous, but I’m motivated by his good performance. I feel like I shouldn’t lose.”
Kim Ji-han said that one of his challenges is to coordinate with Woori Card’s starting setter Han Tae-joon.
Han, a second-year high school player, made the leap to the starting lineup this year and is developing at a rapid pace.
“My chemistry with Taejun is not perfect yet,” Kim said. He doesn’t say, ‘Give me the ball a lot,’ but I know he’s getting better and better. If we do this, I think we’ll be a perfect fit within the third round.”