In ruined teamwork… GS Caltex chose ‘change’ and rose to ‘top’ 

“I made changes to the coaching staff and the squad, and it led to good results.”

GS Caltex coach Sang-Hyun Cha, who lifted the KOVO Cup championship trophy for the second consecutive year and the sixth championship in the men’s and women’s divisions, said the driving force behind the victory was ‘change’.

GS Caltex had a busy off-season after last season. There have been major changes within the team. After parting ways with the existing head coach and trainer, Hyundai Capital coach Lim Dong-gyu was appointed as head coach. IBK Industrial Bank even brought coach Gong Tae-hyun. Park Ki-ho and Jang Won-seok trainers also joined the team and opened the beginning of a ‘great change’.

It was a kind of ‘win-win’ thrown by coach Cha. GS Caltex stayed in 5th place in the regular league despite winning the championship last year. The atmosphere of the team during the season was chaotic. The team was shaken by injuries and various noises. Coach Cha said, “Last year, we won the cup competition, but there were many internal problems and the teamwork was ruined. The aftermath went all the way to the league,” he admitted.

Changes were made not only to the coaching staff, but also to the players themselves. First of all, the main gun and ace Kang So-hui was entrusted with the captaincy. There were seniors in the team, but coach Cha chose Kang So-hui. The vice-captain was Yoo Seo-yeon. Although they are young, they gave a kind of ‘responsibility’ by forming the captaincy of the two main players in the team. In addition, after last season, they recruited Jung Dae-young, the oldest middle blocker in the V-League, who was a free agent (FA).

hit GS Caltex, which took the team atmosphere again step by step, put the first button well. On the 5th, in the final of the 2023 Gumi-Dodram Cup professional volleyball tournament held at the Park Chung-hee Gymnasium in Gumi, Gyeongsangbuk-do, IBK Industrial Bank defeated IBK Industrial Bank with a set score of 3-1 (26-28 25-23 25-13 25-21) and climbed to the top. At the end of the deuce match, the first set was lost, but they burst into celebration as they took three sets.

The strong teamwork shined through. Everyone worked evenly, no matter what. Setter Kim Ji-won led the team, and Kang So-hui flew every game. While digesting 17 sets of 5 games, he was responsible for 91 points (44.51% success rate), the most in the team. In addition, Moon Ji-yoon scored 56 points, Yoo Seo-yeon 49 points, and Kwon Min-ji followed with 45 points안전놀이터. He smiled at the performance of several players, not just one.

Director Cha said it was the result of ‘change’. He said, “I thought about how to change (the internal problems last season). We brought in new players and changed the coaching staff, but it seems to have led to good results. I think I can prepare for the league in a good atmosphere.”

At the same time, he said, “I told the players that we should all work hard and make concessions little by little. There are two seniors, but I wanted Kang So-hui to make the claim. It was an equally important role for vice-captain Yoo Seo-yeon. Not only the staff, but also the squad had to change, so the atmosphere had to be reversed. The players did well. Although there has been a hurdle, I think it’s good that our team’s tenacious team color came out.”

Kang So-hui, who won the MVP award for the third time in men’s and women’s divisions, also nodded. He said, “Originally, when the director gets angry, he curses at me, but I could see that he was patient. He seems to be trying to change the director too. I think those parts are leading to results.”

We have to carry the atmosphere to the league. The same flow as last season should not be repeated. Coach Cha said, “(The cup competition) is just a game. He said that when preparing for the cup competition, not only this competition, but also when preparing for the league, you have to digest the quality of training well to withstand the league. As you know, our training is not easy. We are also preparing for the league internally,” he said. 

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