Will Willow be more helpful to Kim Yeon-kyung than Yelena?

Heungkuk Life Insurance’s new foreign player Willow in the women’s professional volleyball division.

Heungkuk Life Insurance, a professional volleyball women’s team, threw a big bet.

They decided to let go of Jelena (27, Bosnia and Herzegovina), who was in her second season with the team.

Instead, Willow (26, USA), famous as the daughter of ‘Big Unit’ Randy Johnson (61), will fill the foreign player position.

Will Willow be able to fulfill the role of ‘Kim Yeon-kyung’s helper’ that Yelena was unable to fulfill?

To answer this question, we first need to look at what problem Yelena had.

Left dislocation is in place
‘Volleyball Empress’ Kim Yeon-kyung (36, Heungkuk Life Insurance) is a player who plays as an outside hitter.

If you look at this picture, you can guess why the outside hitter was called ‘left’ in the past.

He is a player who mainly attacks from the left side of the court.

Yelena and Willow play as Offergit Spiker, formerly called ‘Light’.

So did Yelena mainly attack from the right?

On the right as well as on the left!
At least when in the vanguard, it is not easy to evaluate that the proportion of right-side attacks was higher.

The reason why Yelena attempted to attack similarly on the left and right side of her court is because of the ‘rotation’ order.

Heungkuk Life Insurance is basically a team that puts Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena on the court with ‘one space’ between them.

For example, during the 4th set of the Jangchung GS Caltex match on the 17th, Heungkuk Life Insurance set the starting order in the following order: Kim Yeon-kyung → Joo-ah Lee → Yelena → Raina → Kim Su-ji → Kim Da-sol.

The opposing team, GS Caltex, had offer spiker Silva and outside heater Kang So-hwi in the following order: Kim Ji-won → Yoo Seo-yeon → Kwon Min-ji → Silva → Kang So-hwi → Oh Se-yeon.

Two out of three potential rotations are to the right.
In a team that sends an offer spiker with an outside hitter, the offer spiker is less likely to attack from the left.

Since the number of rallies where both players are in the forefront increases, each player just needs to be faithful to maintaining their position.

To put this in reverse, this means that the number of rallies with both players in the back line increases accordingly.

Coach Abondanza, who leads Heungkuk Life Insurance, wanted to minimize the moments when both Kim Yeon-kyung and Jelena were in the back line as much as possible, so he placed them one space apart.

If both players are in the back row, the entire team attack will be a mess.

The reason why Heungkuk Life’s attack efficiency drops so much when both Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena are in the rear can be seen by looking at the attack position.

If you scroll up and check, you can see that when both players are in the back row, the left side of the front line is empty.

This is why Kim Yeon-kyung ranked first in rear attack efficiency (0.311) and Yelena ranked third (0.303), but she had a particularly difficult time attacking in this rotation.

Of course, Director Abondanza is also aware of this problem. Kim Yeon-kyung said, “If the total amount of practice is 100, rear attacks account for 50.”

However, it is not easy to fundamentally solve this problem if the outside heater, who is basically opposite Kim Yeon-kyung, does not support her.

It only shines in the 2nd round
Yelena recorded a total attack efficiency of 0.305 (5th) in rounds 1 and 2.

During this period, Heungkuk Life Insurance was the league leader with 30 points (11 wins, 1 loss), more than one game ahead of second place Hyundai Engineering & Construction (26 points, 8 wins, 4 losses).

After round 3, Yelena’s attack efficiency dropped to 0.218.

As of the end of the 4th round, Heungkuk Life Insurance (50 points, 18 wins, 6 losses) has fallen to second place, nearly three games behind Hyundai Engineering & Construction (58 points, 19 wins, 5 losses).

Kim Yeon-kyung maintained the top spot in attack efficiency in both the 1st and 2nd rounds (0.358) and the 3rd and 4th rounds (0.365), but it was not enough to lead the team’s attack alone.

In short, if Willow does as well as Yelena in the 1st and 2nd rounds, Heungkuk Life Insurance can make a turnaround in the 5th and 6th rounds.

The Korean Volleyball Federation (KOVO) schedules the women’s Heungkuk Life Insurance and men’s Hyundai Capital matches on the same day.

Hyundai Capital won the championship by changing Ton (40, Canada) to Danny (37, Croatia) in the middle of the 5th round of the 2016-2017 season.

On the other hand, Bruna (25, Brazil), who Heungkuk Life Insurance selected instead of Lucia (33, Argentina) during the 2020-2021 season, eventually became a name that appears every time the worst foreign player in V-League history is selected.

Will Willow be closer to Danny or Bruna? 고스톱

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