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‘Lethargic performance’ sees Pepper Savings Bank snap 19-game losing streak…1-3 loss to Roadrunners

After failing to rebound from the All-Star break, the women’s professional volleyball team Pepper Savings Bank fell into a 19-game losing streak.

The Pepper Savings Bank, led by head coach Joe Trinzi, failed to earn a point in the Dodram 2023-2024 V-League Women’s Division 5 match against Korea Expressway Corporation on Wednesday, losing the set score 1-3 (24-26 19-25 25-17 17-25) at 바카라사이트 Gwangju Pepper Stadium.

With the loss, last-place Pepper Savings Bank, which suffered its 19th straight defeat, dropped to 24 losses (2 wins) and remained on seven points. If the team also loses at home against GS Caltex on June 6, it will fall short of tying the V-League women’s single-season record for the longest losing streak (previously held by the 2012-2013 season).

Sixth-ranked Roadrunners, who did not allow Pepper Savings Bank to escape their losing streak, earned three points. They improved their season record to 9W17L (28 points) and moved within five points of fifth-place IBK (11W14L – 33 points).

Pepper Savings Bank had four players score in double figures, including Park Jung-ah (15 points), Lee Han-bi (13 points), MJ Phillips (12 points), and Yasmin Bedard (10 points). Despite shooting a higher percentage (41.7%) than their opponents (39.7%) and committing fewer errors (20-22), the 1-8 deficit on serve proved costly.

For Roadworks, Ivan Vukirich (registered name Vukirich) led the way with a team-high 18 kills, while Bae Yuna made her presence felt with 17 kills, including four service aces. Tanacha Sooksot and rookie Kim Se-bin also contributed to the win with 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Things didn’t look too bad in the early stages of the game. After back-to-back errors by Lee Yoon-jung and Vukiric at 8-8, Park and Phillips each scored back-to-back points with a quick opener and a service ace to extend the lead to 12-8. A further error by Tanacha made it 13-8.

However, Pepper Savings Bank, shaken by the opponent’s relentless pursuit, gave up three points at 18-15, and at 23-22, back-to-back kills by Bae Yuna and Vukiric brought the score to 23-22. Lee Han-bi’s kill brought the score to deuce, but a block by Bae Yuna and an error by Yasmin ended the first set.

The second set was similar. It was a tightly contested game until the beginning, but at 13-13, the momentum shifted to one side. An error by Oh Ji-young, a service ace by Bae Yoo-na, an opening by Tanacha, and an error by Yasmin followed. The gap between the two teams widened to 13-19 when Kim Se-bin scored back-to-back points, and the second set ended in favor of Roadworks.

Unable to sit back in front of their home fans, Pepper Savings Bank fought back. At 3-3 in the third set, Yasmin and Phillips scored consecutive points before Bae Yuna and Vukiric committed back-to-back errors. At 9-5, Park made it 12-5 with three consecutive points, including a quick opener.

As the gap continued to widen, Roadworks brought Vukiric into the warm-up zone late in the third set, and Pepper Savings Bank scored three more points at 19-13 to put an end to the opponent’s chances of catching up. A single point at 24-17 sealed the third set.

However, Pepper Savings Bank’s dream of a full set did not come true. They conceded points at 8-10 with Bae Yuna’s opener and Moon Jung-won’s service ace, and collapsed on themselves at 9-12 with four points. They were forced to accept defeat without a single effort.

In a battle of the top teams in men’s professional volleyball, second-ranked Korean Air defeated third-ranked Samsung Fire to completely erase the points gap between them and leader Woori Card.

Korean Air, coached by Tommi Tilikainen, earned three valuable points with a 3-1 (24-26 25-22 31-29 26-24) set win over Samsung Fire in the men’s fifth round at Chungmu Gymnasium in Daejeon on Sunday.

With 15 wins and 11 losses (47 points), Korean Air remained in second place behind Woori Card (16 wins and 9 losses – 47 points) in the standings, but showed a strong determination to regain the lead. Samsung Fire (15W11L – 40 points), which started the second half with two consecutive losses, is in trouble with third-place Suisun. With the same number of points as fourth-placed KEPCO and fifth-placed OK Financial Group (both 14-11), they could fall to fourth or fifth place depending on the outcome of their matches.

For Korean Air, Murad Khan (real name Murad) produced a team-high 23 points, while Jung Jung-yong (13 points) and Jeong Ji-seok (12 points) eased his burden. Middle blockers Cho Jae-young (8 points) and Kim Kyu-min (7 points) also had solid performances. Despite a 39-point performance from Yosvani Hernandez (real name Yosvani), Samsung Fire was plagued by 38 unforced errors.

After dropping the first set, Korean Air turned the tide with a second-set win and took the third set after six deuce ties. At 24-24 in the fourth set, Kim Gyu-min’s kill followed by Jeong Ji-seok’s block of Kim Jung-ho’s attack put an end to a fierce battle.

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