PO is to find a replacement for Lee So-young

The women’s chief of the V-League’s women’s association made it to the spring volleyball tournament for the first time in seven seasons, but he is not excited. The team has to find a replacement for outside heater Lee So-young ahead of the second place and the playoff that will begin on Sunday.

Lee suffered a ruptured ligament in her left ankle while landing after blocking the game in the second set 2-1 against GS Caltex (3-0 win) on Sunday. Although Chung was blocked from holding the semi-PO, he could not help but smile due to Lee’s injury. “Even if his team advances to the championship game, Lee will not be able to take the court,” a source at Chung’s team said on Sunday.

Lee rested for the first month since the season’s opening due to shoulder surgery, but has led her team to take a leap forward since returning to the team. She played in 87 sets in 26 matches, ranking fourth (43.80 percent) in receiving efficiency, and did her part.

The departure of a solid veteran is painful for Chung. As he only needs to prepare for the PO, the team checked the performance of backup players at the Pepper Savings Bank match (lost 1-3) on Wednesday. “Lee Sun-woo and Choi Hyo-seo were rookie of the year,” said Koh Hee-jin, head coach of Chung’s office. “Park Hye-min also said that Soyoung did a great job during the absence,” adding, “The team’s depth is thick.” However, the team focused on finding Lee’s replacement at the Pepper Savings Bank match.

Apart from the results, Lee’s rediscovery on the day was a great achievement. Lee, who scored 27 points and an attack success rate of 44.00 percent, also played as an apostrophe spiker for the women’s volleyball team at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games as the rookie of the year in the 2020-2021 season, but has been engaged in competition to become the starting pitcher in every season. He has only played in 28 matches and 59 sets this season as well. However, in the match against Pepper Savings Bank on the day, Ko was impressive as he scored three serve aces and the most points in his team.

Ko has highly appreciated the possibility of backup players, including Lee Sun-woo. He has always trained with the main players to motivate them. As for Lee, he encouraged, “You are the national apogit spiker,” indicating that he will be selected in the PO.

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Still, Chung has more opportunities to find a replacement for Lee. As Lee finished the regular league match against IBK Industrial Bank of Korea on Thursday without any injuries, he should decide the owner of an outside heater. This is a time when capabilities of both coaching staff and backup players are important.

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