A Man who Remained Calm Even in the 5th Set

It’s the second half of the 5th set, with the difference between victory and defeat. But he was calm and precise. 

Woori Card Matej Kok (27, Slovenia) gave the team victory with a sharp serve. 지울프-토토

Woori Card won with a set score of 3-2 (25-21, 21-25, 25-19, 28-30, 15- 13) won. Leader Woori Card was the first to reach 10 wins (3 losses)

widening the gap with 2nd place Korean Air (8 wins, 4 losses, 25 points) to 2 points.

Matei was a top honoree. Matei scored 42 points, the most of both teams on this day. 

There are 4 serving aces and 2 blocking. The attack success rate was also good at 55.4%, and there were only 4 mistakes. 

Shin Young-cheol, our card coach, praised him, saying, “Matei is surviving the aftereffects of otitis media.

He is becoming more aware of himself than before.

I can feel him improving even in conversation.

His serve is his strength, and he was effective today.”

As coach Shin said, Matei’s serve decided the win or loss. 

In a tense situation in the 5th set, Matei accurately served 4 spikes. In particular

after scoring a serve aimed at Leo at 12-12, the opponent broke it off with a timeout, but this time he aimed between libero Cho Kuk-gi and Song Hee-chae and made an ace. In fact, it was a scene that decided the game. Ogino Massage OK Financial Group manager also praised, “I knew Matei’s serve would go to Leo, but it was so good.”

Matei ranks second in subs (0.438 per set). However, the failure rate (18.8%) is much better than the first place, Yosbani Hernández of Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance (45.3%). Considering accuracy, it is no exaggeration to say that it is currently the best server in the V-League. On this day, Gyeonggi Province recorded only one serve error.

Matei said, “I didn’t overdo it and served with the correct rhythm. I served with the mindset of hitting the hand accurately. I’m happy because it went well. I also served with a good rhythm when I was training yesterday. I’m satisfied,” and “I’m at the level of receiving in the Korean league.” This is high. So, rather than hitting 100%, I focus on controlling it with the correct technique and the mindset that if I hit 10, I will hit the same target.”

Mattei, who performed well in the first round, faltered at the end of the second round. It was an aftereffect of not being able to properly train due to symptoms of otolithiasis ahead of the Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance match on the 23rd of last month. In the game against Samsung, he managed to raise 20 points, but in the next two games (OK Financial Group and Korean Air), he only scored 13 and 18 points, respectively. Matei said, “I don’t have any symptoms now. At the time, I was motion sick and lethargic. I felt like I was going to vomit when I ate. There’s no problem now.”

The jinx against OK Financial Group was also shaken off. Woori Card lost 0-3 to OK Financial Group in both the first and second rounds. Mattei’s attack success rate was 44.0% and 37.1%, which was lower than the season average (51.5%). Matei said, “I was surprised by the unexpected play in the first OK game, and our team’s potential is also good now. We prepared well, so we got a good result.”

Matei is a romantic guy. He has special feelings for his girlfriend Anya, who he lives with in Korea. The special uniform released by Woori Card featured famous landmarks in Seoul, and Matei chose Gwangjang Market, where he enjoyed his first date with his girlfriend in Korea.

Matei laughed, “I’ve been there twice. The first time I went, my girlfriend watched it on Netflix before we went. It remains a good memory. My girlfriend’s family visited recently, and I went there that time too.” He said, “I also went to old palaces and tourist attractions in Seoul with her girlfriend.” Mattei, who has no experience playing in All-Star games overseas, said, “It was like the American NBA All-Star Game. I want to experience it. It would be an honor if you were selected.”

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