Hyundai E&C ‘gives GS a run for its money’…wins fourth straight, takes lead

Suwon Hyundai E&C extended its winning streak to four games with a hard-fought victory in its first home game in a month in the Dodram 2023-2024 V-League Women’s Division.

Yang Hyo-jin scored a season-high 25 points, Moma added 24, and Silva paced Seoul GS Caltex with 36 in a 3-2 (30-28 21-25 25-16 17-25 19-17) victory on Tuesday afternoon at home at Suwon Indoor Gymnasium.

With the win, Hyundai E&C extended its winning streak to four games, improving its record to 17-5 and 52 points, widening the gap to five points over second-place Incheon Heungkuk Life (47 points).

The match was tightly contested, with deuce battles in the first and last sets, and it was Hyundai E&C who had the last laugh, taking both sets in deuce situations.

At the beginning of the first set, Hyundai E&C took a big lead. Moma’s open attack and Jeong Ji-yoon’s ball-handling gave them a 9-4 lead. GS Caltex chipped away at the deficit, but Silva’s back-to-back service aces brought the score to one at 11-14, and HMC capitalized on quick openings by Jeong Jeong-yoon and Wipawi and opponent errors to maintain a two- to three-point lead.

However, GS Caltex tied the score at 23-23 with an open attack by Choi Eun-ji and a block by Han Su-ji, and the two teams continued to battle for deuce. Hyundai E&C took the lead in the final minutes. At 28-28, Wipawi’s quick open and Yang Hyo-jin’s open attack were successful to take the set.

In the second set, GS Caltex came from behind to level the match. The score was tied at 15-15 midway through the set, but back-to-back kills by Kang So-hwi and a back-attack by Silva gave GS Caltex a 19-15 lead. Hyundai E&C fought back to tie the game at 19-19 after Kim Joo-hyang scored three consecutive points on a quick open and Yang Hyo-jin’s open attack was successful.

GS Caltex closed out the set at 21-21, with Kang So-hwi’s back-to-back attack successes and Kwon Min-ji’s decisive block, followed by Moma’s attack out, for a 25-21 win.

After allowing the set to be tied at 1-1, Hyundai E&C took control early in the third set. Leading by 3-5 points, GS Caltex cut the deficit to 15-13 after Silva’s attack revitalized the team, but Moma’s staggered attack and Kim Joo-hyang’s three consecutive open attacks gave the team a 21-13 lead and the set.

The fourth set was the opposite of the third. GS Caltex shook the Hyundai E&C defense with its strong serves, and the duo of Silva and Kang So-hwi led the way with their fierce kills, winning 25-17 to push the match to the final five sets.

In the final five sets, the two teams played an epic battle. After exchanging ties and lead changes, GS Caltex created a match point at 14-13, but Wipawi, who was having a bad day, made an open attack for a deuce. After a seesaw game, Hyundai E&C closed out the match at 17-17 when Jung Ji-yoon succeeded in the paint and Lee Da-hyun blocked Silva’s quick opener.

HHI’s Yang Hyo-jin, who scored her highest point total of the season, said, “We’ve had relatively easy games so far, but there may be more games like today, so I tried to focus more on the players. The team has been in a good mood lately and has a strong will to win, so I think it shows in the results. We came home after a long time and got a win. We will continue to play well.”

Meanwhile, in the men’s match at Jangchung Gymnasium in Seoul, Ansan OK Financial Group rode a strong performance from Leo (36 points) to a three-set victory (25-19 25-15 21-25 25-23) over top-seeded Seoul Woori Card, who were led by Mattei (35 points), for their first four-game winning streak of the season.

OK Financial Group moved up one spot to fourth place with a 12-10 record and 33 points. Woori Card, on the other hand, fell into a three-game losing streak.

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