Samsung Fire, in precarious third place, has been hit with an injury bug. They need to overcome the crisis to play spring volleyball for the first time in six years.
Samsung Fire is in third place in the 2023-24 regular season with a 15-9 record (40 points). After finishing in last place the previous season, the team is in third place in the regular season. However, Samsung Fire is not all smiles. They’re in a tight second-place battle with Korean Air.
Korean Air 토토 has won two straight, led by new foreign player Murad Khan. At 14W10L (43 points), they have fewer wins but three more points than Samsung Fire.
From the start of the season, Samsung Fire‘s pace was good, and they needed to keep it up. They went 5-1 in Round 1 to top the round standings, then went 3-3 in Round 2 to finish fifth, but then went 5-1 in Round 3 to finish second. In the fourth round, he was again ranked fifth in the round-robin with 2 wins and 4 losses.
In the final match of the fourth round against Woori Card, the team won in straight sets, but the injury to Kim Jun-woo was more painful than the victory. Rookie setter Lee Jae-hyun got the start, as starter Noh Jae-wook was also rested due to a knee problem. Kim twisted his left ankle when he stepped on teammate Kim Jung-ho’s foot while landing after a block in the fifth set. He was diagnosed with a torn ligament and was given an eight-week diagnosis. Samsung Fire’s final regular season game is on March 16 against Woori Card.
With the timing of Kim Jun-woo’s return unclear, the Fire will have to grit their teeth in a critical situation.
All eyes will be on rookie setter Lee Jae-hyun, middle blocker Eddie, and middle blocker Jeon Jin-sun, who moved from OK Financial Group to Samsung Fire during the season.
‘Last place last season’ Samsung Fire’s terrifying comeback
Through four rounds of the regular season, Samsung Fire ranks second in serves (1.16 per set), third in sets (13.21 per set), fourth in scoring (2,060 points), and fourth in total offense (52.22%). She is fifth in receiving and defense, and sixth in blocking and digs.
The team has been on fire since the start of the season, a frightening comeback for a team that was labeled as an “underdog.
New foreign player Yosvani Hernandez (registered name Yosvani) is the ace of the team, responsible for 49.4% of the team’s attacks. Outside hitters Kim Jung-ho and Shin Shin-ho or Kim Woo-jin make up the trio, while middle blockers Kim Jun-woo and Eddie, libero Lee Sang-wook, and setter Noh Jae-wook have also done their part.
Yosubani switched to an apogee to ease the burden of receiving and reduce his stamina, and Samsung Fire utilized a back-row attack centered on Yosubani to harass the opposition. The team’s organization also shone through. Even when trailing by a large margin, the team often turned the tide with successful counterattacks after defense. The team was solidified.
There were also changes during the season. The team made a trade with OK Financial Group. They let go of outside hitter Park Sung-jin and brought in middle blocker Jeon Jin-seon to strengthen the center.
The players also said, “The team atmosphere has changed a lot,” and said confidently, “We don’t feel like losing even if we are losing.”
There was a brief lull in the fourth round. After losing back-to-back games to the in-form OK Financial Group (2-3) and Hyundai Capital (1-3), they went 0-3 against KEPCO and Korean Air. While they did manage to pick up a win against Woori Card in the final match of the fourth round in a full-set thriller, it’s far from reassuring.
We have to hold on with our gums. Before Noh Jae-wook was injured, Lee Ho-gan, who had been used as a substitute setter, was the first to go down with an ankle injury. Noh also complained of knee pain. Coach Kim Sang-woo said of Noh Jae-wook before the final match of the fourth round against Woori Card, “He’s not in good shape. We were in a situation where we were dragging him along before, but this time we decided to give him a break.”
Fortunately, rookie setter Lee Jae-hyun stepped up and saved the day.
This time, a key member of the team, Kim Jun-woo, was injured. Born in 2000, Kim is in his second year as a professional. He played 24 games and 90 sets this season, scoring 165 points. He ranked second in blocking and eighth in fastballs. “I’m going to show that I don’t have a second-year jinx,” Kim said, adding that he was determined to come back strong this season.
True to his word, he built on his stats from last season with a solid performance.
In the last match, Eddie and Kim Jun-woo were the starters, but after Kim Jun-woo’s injury, Jeon Jin-sun came in immediately. The signing of ‘transfer student’ Jeon Jin-sun proved to be a godsend.
Samsung Fire was hit with a sudden injury blow. Even if Noh Jae-wook returns after the break, they still need a backup setter. The fate of Samsung Fire is in the hands of Lee Jae-hyun, Eddie, and Jeon Jin-sun. Can the Fire overcome the crisis and return to spring volleyball for the first time in six years after the 2017-18 season?