Abondanza coach says ’10-game winning streak failed’

“We didn’t play well today. In fact, when a team plays about once every three days, it is difficult to expect a good performance every time.”

The Heungkuk Life Pink Spiders saw their quest for a 10-game winning streak come to a screeching halt after losing to GS Caltex KIXX 1-3 (20-25, 25-16, 25-27, 19-25) in the third round of the Dodram 2023-2024 V-League at Samsan World Gymnasium in Incheon on Monday.

Heungkuk Life suffered a heartbreaking defeat in their quest for a 10-game winning streak. Yelena had 27 points (46.3% attack percentage) and Kim Yeon-kyung had 18 points (39.5%), but the supporting cast was lacking.

Heungkuk Life head coach Marcello Abondanza said, “We didn’t play well today. I saw a lack of concentration. There were a lot of missed balls in blocking and defense, and the connection from defense to offense was not smooth. I think it was more mental than technical,” he said after the game.

GS Caltex finished with an offensive success rate of 45.4%. “In the third set, there were five or six balls that we should have gotten,” Abondanza said. Not only in the third set, but also in the first set. That kind of offensive success rate means that our defense wasn’t focused,” he said.

Reina and Kim Mi-yeon, who are supposed to support Yelena and Kim Yeon-kyung, also underperformed in this game. Reina finished with eight points (43.8 percent offense) and Kim finished with seven points (38.9 percent offense).

Coach Abondanza said, “Reina didn’t start well, but she got better as the game went on. Kim Mi-yeon didn’t play well today. The truth is, when a team plays every three days, it’s hard to expect a good performance every time. Especially since we don’t have a lot of substitutes.”

Kim Soo-ji came off the bench in the third set and started in the fourth, scoring two points (100.0% attacking success rate). “Originally, I was going to use Kim as a starter today,” said Abondanza, “but Kim has a lump in her throat and it’s hard for her to turn her head. The problem has been going on for about 10 days, and I hope it will be resolved soon so we can play together,” he said, wishing Kim a speedy recovery.

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