Men’s volleyball’s Urikhad reaches 10 wins with Matej’s ‘awl serve’

Men’s professional volleyball leader Woori Card became the first team to reach 10 wins (3 losses) in the season after overcoming ‘nemesis’ OK Financial Group.

Woori Card defeated OK Financial Group with a set score of 3-2 (25-21 21-25 25-19 28-30 15-13) in the visiting Dodram 2023-2024 V-League match at Sangryoksu Gymnasium in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province on Wednesday.

After going 0-3 in the first and second rounds without taking a set from OK Financial Group, 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.

The main player in the victory was Slovenia’s Zupo Matej Kok (registered name Matej).

At 12-12 in a tightly contested fifth set, Matej hit an awl serve to the left side of the court, targeting OK Financial Group’s Leonardo Leiva Martinez (nicknamed Leo). 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 one block. However, he had the last laugh by winning the fixer’s match 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 high hitting.

After Woori Card managed to close the gap a bit in the middle of the set thanks to quick-opening kills from homegrown attackers Han Sung-jeong and Kim Ji-han to take the third set, OK Financial Group came back with a deuce at the end of the fourth set thanks to Leo’s storm of kills, then combined Leo’s quick-opening points with an attack error from Woori Card’s Han Sung-jeong 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 skills with fiery attacks. 먹튀검증

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