Korean Air and Korea Express, who added a star to their jerseys after winning last season’s championship match, have been unable to climb out of the losing tunnel ahead of the season’s return.
Korean Air, the defending men’s champion, fell 1-3 (25-23, 29-31, 22-25, 22-25) against KB Insurance at home in Incheon on Tuesday. Korean Air, 온라인카지노 which suffered its first three-game losing streak of the season, is now in second place with an 8-6 record and 25 points.
They are five points behind leader Woori Card (11W-3L-30) and just one point behind third-place KEPCO (8W-6L-24), who are riding a seven-game winning streak. They are also just two points behind fourth-place Samsung Fire (23 points), who have been the surprise package of the season, and three points behind defending Cup champion OK Financial Group (22 points).
Korean Air, which is attempting to become the first men’s team to win four consecutive titles, was tipped as a strong contender this season, but foreign player Lincoln has been sidelined with a knee injury since the start of the season, and more recently with back pain. Outside hitter Jeong Ji-seok and middle blocker Kim Min-jae have yet to hit their best form after returning from injury. The lack of form from Jung Jung-yong, who played a key role in the early and middle part of the season, has also contributed to the losing streak.
Defending women’s champion Korea Express suffered a 0-3 (19-25, 13-25, 19-25) loss to IBK at home in Gimcheon on Tuesday. Not a single set reached the 20-point mark.
The team had a difficult start to the season, with several changes to the starting lineup and an injury to setter Lee Yoon-jung. After losing five straight games to open the season, the team seemed to start to organize itself in the second round, but then fell back into crisis mode. They recently lost five in a row again and are currently in sixth place. History has shown that the Roadrunners have been slow starters to the season, but they should be able to find their footing now that they’re in the win column.
However, the team hasn’t been able to synergize their receiving and defensive strengths into goals after counterattacks, as the team color has changed a bit.
In the women’s division, leader Heungkuk Life (33 points) and second-place Hyundai E&C (32 points) are currently battling for the lead, while third-place GS Caltex (25 points), fourth-place IBK (22 points), and fifth-place Jungkwanjang (20 points) are in a tight mid-table battle.
If Doosan fails to build momentum in the mid-to-late rounds, it could fall out of contention.
The remainder of Round 3 is crucial for Korean Air and Korea Express.
Korean Air faces a resurgent KEPCO on the 13th. On the 17th, they’ll host defending champions Hyundai Capital, who have stepped out of the shadow of their losing streak. The next four games in the third round, against Samsung Fire on the 22nd and OK Financial Group on the 25th, will be crucial to both ending the losing streak and catching up to the leaders.
On the 13th, the Korea Expressway Corporation hosts ChungKwanJang, whom they have beaten twice this season. It will be a watershed game for them to end their losing streak. The team will then host leader Heungkuk Sinsung on the 17th, followed by Pepper Savings Bank on the 22nd and GS Caltex on the 25th in the third round.
Will Korean Air and Korea Express be able to end the losing streak quickly and make a leap forward? The game on Wednesday, the 13th of this week, will be crucial.