Despite dropping the series in straight sets in last season’s championship game, Heungkuk Life is still the “No. 1 favorite” to win the women’s professional volleyball title.At the 2023-2024 V-League Women’s Media Day held at the Cheongdam Rivera Hotel in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, on Wednesday, the team was named the “favorite to win the championship” by five out of seven teams .Only Heungkuk Life and GS Caltex did not name Heungkuk Life when asked to name the two teams they think they will meet in the championship besides their own team .Since Heungkuk Life was unable to name its own team, it actually received five out of six votes. Coach Ko Hee-jin said, “Heungkuk has a good composition of players,” while IBK’s Kim Ho-cheol said, “They have a cohesive team and Kim Soo-ji is perfect. “Even Marcello Abondanza (Heungkuk Life) said, “It’s natural to write down our team. We have good players, so I’m confident we’ll do well until the end.”
Heungkuk Life was able to re-sign Kim Yeon-kyung, who is a big part of its strength, and brought in Kim’s best friend and former national middle blocker Kim Soo-ji. Korea Express, who won the championship last season with a dramatic three-game “reverse sweep” after losing two games to Heungkuk Life in the championship match, received three votes. The team lost outside hitter Park Jung-ah to Pepper Savings Bank and middle blocker Jung Dae-young to GS Caltex in the free agency market. Coach Kim Jong-min said, “Our strength has been weakened a lot, and we have to be wary of all teams rather than wary of anyone in particular. Hyundai E &C coach Kang Sung-hyung, who did not receive a single vote despite having recently experienced ‘spring volleyball’ consistently, wrote down Heungkuk Life and Roadworks and said, “Our team has also strengthened the weak side. We will try to challenge once with good teamwork.”
GS Caltex head coach Cha Sang-hyun was the only one who didn’t expect Heungkuk Life to go straight to the championship, picking IBK and Jungkwanjang. Cha looked at Ko, who was sitting next to him, and said, “I wrote the articles of incorporation to make Ko Hee-jin feel better. IBK has a good roster and a world-class setter.”After finishing sixth last season, IBK earned the No. 1 pick in both the foreign and Asian quarters of the draft, bringing in left-handed apo jit spiker Brittany Abercrombie (née Abercrombie) and setter Ponpoon Gedpard (née Ponpoon), the starting setter for the Thai national team .IBK has emerged as a “dark horse” this season, with two clubs picked to make the championship. Pepper Savings Bank, which has finished in last place for two years in a row since its inception, also received one vote .Pepper Savings Bank hired head coach Joe Trinzi and brought in Park Jung-ah, Chae Sun-ah, and Lee Ig-eun .Park Jung-ah wrote down the team as ‘the team that benefited the most from player transfers’ and expressed confidence, saying, “Not only me, but many players came and wrote it down. “The Women’s V League will begin its six-month campaign on the 14th with a matchup 안전놀이터 between Korea Expressway Corporation and Heungkuk Life.