Sunday, 26th May 2024

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No championship game for six seasons in a row, ‘3.3 billion won’ wallet opened properly… Rising star declares resurgence

IBK has opened its wallet in the free agent market.

The bank announced on the 15th that it has signed Lee So-young (29) and Lee Ju-ah (23) as free agents.

Lee signed a three-year contract for a total of 700 million won ($450 million in annual salary and $250 million in incentives), while Lee signed a three-year contract for a total of 400 million won ($330 million in annual salary and $70 million in options).

Lee So-young will receive a total of 2.1 billion won over three years, while Lee Ju-ah will receive 1.2 billion won. 메이저 토토사이트 The three-year total for the two players alone is 3.3 billion won.

Founded in 2011, the team has been called a “rising star,” having won three championships from 2012 to 2013 and three championships from 2016 to 2017. In the 2017-2018 season, the team showed its strength by finishing runner-up in the regular season and runner-up in the championship, but it struggled to advance to spring volleyball. They had a brief taste of spring volleyball in 2020-2021 with a third-place finish, but failed to reach the championship game for six consecutive seasons.

After failing to meet the 5-percent win rate this season with 17 wins, 19 losses, and 51 points, the team began to reinforce its strength after the season ended.

This year’s free agency market saw a number of big-name players in each position, including Kang So-hwi, Lee So-young, Jeong Jung-yoon, and Lee Ju-ah. Kang So-hwi signed a three-year contract with Korea Expressway Corporation for a total of 2.4 billion won ($500 million in annual salary and $300 million in incentives). This is the highest amount in the women’s league, surpassing the total annual compensation of Kim Yeon-kyung (Heungkuk Life) and Park Jung-ah (Pepper Savings Bank) last season.

The bank has both offensive and defensive talent in Lee So-young and national middle blocker Lee Ju-ah.

Lee, who donned the Corporate Bank jersey from Jung Kwan-jang, was a key player in GS Caltex’s triumphant 2020-2021 season (1st place in the regular season, cup tournament, and championship). Although she didn’t play much this season due to injury, she put up solid numbers, including 215 points (37.95% attack percentage), 43.80% receiving efficiency, and 3.724 digs per set in 26 games, helping the club to make its first spring volleyball appearance in seven years.

Lee, who joins the bank from Heungkuk Life, finished the season with 214 kills, fourth in blocks (0.617 per set) and fifth in hitting percentage (47.03%).

“She is the right person to put the final piece of the puzzle together for us as we struggled in close matches last season. With the addition of Lee Ju-ah, we will be able to strengthen our central offense and provide a springboard to the top tier.”

Lee So-young and Lee Joo-ah said, “We are grateful to the Kookmin Bank for recognizing our skills and value through the FA. We will do our best in every moment of the upcoming season to help the team win the championship,” said Lee.

The team also made its goal of winning the championship clear while reinforcing positions. “By recruiting players with decisive power in each position, we will be able to further enhance our offense,” said a representative from the bank. “We will do our best to accelerate the composition of the team until the end so that we can achieve the overall championship in the 2024-2025 season.”

Meanwhile, after missing out on Lee So-young, Chung signed three internal free agents, Nolan Park Eun-jin and Park Hye-min.

Libero Nolan, who is entering her third year as a free agent, signed a contract worth 180 million won ($150 million salary, $30 million option), while middle blocker Park Eun-jin and outside hitter Park Hye-min, who are eligible for free agency for the first time, signed for 350 million won ($300 million salary, $50 million option) and 210 million won ($200 million salary, $10 million option), respectively.

After signing, Park Eun-jin said, “The trust between the coach, coaching staff, and players was a big factor in my decision. Of course, there were other clubs that offered better conditions, but I didn’t think it was right for me to be greedy as there were many free agents in our team this year.” “After seriously considering the strength and potential of our team, which I saw last season, and where I can play volleyball happily, I chose to stay in Jungkwanjang without regret,” Park said.

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