“Spring in 7 Years.”

Women’s volleyball chief Chung Kwan-jang solidified her third place with four consecutive wins.

Chung Kwan-jang won the set score 3-1 against Heungkuk Life Insurance in the sixth round of the Dodram 2023-24 V-League at Chungmu Gymnasium in Daejeon on the 24th.

Chung Kwan-jang, who blocked Heungkuk Life’s seven-game winning streak, won three points along with four consecutive wins, widening the gap with fourth-place GS Caltex (17-14 points) by eight points.

The first volleyball tournament in seven years is set to take place. Chung failed to participate in the postseason for the past six seasons. After ranking third (44 points) in the 2016-17 season, Chung finished fifth in the 2017-18 season, sixth in the 2018-19 season, fourth in the 2019-20 season, fifth in the 2020-21 season, fourth in the 2021-22 season, and fourth in the 2022-23 season.

The postseason was not held as the 2019-20 season and the 2021-22 season ended early due to COVID-19, but the gap with the third place was wide, making it uncertain to advance to spring volleyball.

Last season, he failed to get a ticket to the spring volleyball tournament due to the first point difference. Last year, Chung finished the regular season with 56 points, four points behind Korea Expressway Corporation (40 points), which is ranking third. If the difference between the third and fourth place in professional volleyball is less than three points, a semi-playoff will take place. However, Chung failed to make the semi-playoff due to a point difference.

With five games left this season, Chung Kwan-jang has gained an advantage in the fight for the third place. It is encouraging that he gained three points against Heungkuk Life Insurance, the favorite to win. In the fifth round, he also caught No. 1 Hyundai Engineering & Construction in a neck-and-neck race, causing a stir to earn two points. The gap may widen further depending on the result of the match between No. 4 GS Caltex and No. 5 IBK Industrial Bank on the 25th.

It is also pleasing to see that the team is ahead of three of the remaining five opponents. Korea Expressway Corporation (3 wins and 2 losses), IBK Industrial Bank (3 wins and 2 losses) and Pepper Savings Bank (5 wins) have achieved good results this season, and have been engaged in tight races with Hyundai E&C (2 wins and 3 losses) and GS Caltex employees (2 wins and 3 losses).

Jeong Ho-young, the main middle blocker of the Jeonggwanjang, recently strengthened his strong will in an interview with this newspaper, saying, “I have no experience in spring volleyball since my debut (2019-20 season), and I really want to advance to the postseason this time.”

Chung will play in the order of road construction on the 27th, Hyundai Construction on March 2, GS Caltex on March 7, Pepper Savings Bank on March 13 and Industrial Bank of Korea on March 17 to challenge spring volleyball for the first time in seven years.

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