“Everyone on the team did their part and became more engaged”
Hyundai E&C’s Hyo-jin Yang, 34, scored the most points in a single game this season and became the first player in the V-League to surpass 5,500 offensive points in her career.
Yang Hyo-jin started the 2023-24 Dodram V League Women’s fourth round home match against GS Caltex at Suwon Indoor Gymnasium on Tuesday and scored 25 points, leading the offense and defense in every tight game. It was her highest point total in 22 games. When she scored her 21st point, she made V-League history. She became the first player to reach the 5500-point mark in offense.
Hyundai E&C defeated GS Caltex 3-2 (30-28, 21-25, 25-16, 17-25, 19-17) in a full-set match with Yang Hyo-jin leading the way. The team improved to 17-5 and 52 points to take over first place. They have also won four straight.
Hyojin Yang showed her true colors in the first set deuce game as she fought her way to the 30th point. At 27-27, she scored with a long, in-place open attack, and when foreign player Moma Basoko scored to create set point (29-28), she hit a center open attack to clinch the first set.
Yang’s open attacks were even more exquisite on this day, with her high hitting and ball control skills sending the ball to empty areas of the opponent’s court. In the second set, where GS Caltex scored the first 25 points, she recorded 4 kills and an attacking success rate of 50.00%.
Yang Hyo-jin also shined in the decisive third set. At 0-0, she provided a blocking assist for the opposing ace Kang So-hwi’s open attack, and at 6-3, she was again successful in sending the ball to the front court. At 12-8, she made an open attack to a position where foreign player Giselle Silva could not reach even with her body. At 13-9 and 14-11, she scored on a fastball. She showed her presence by attacking more than blocking. Hyundai E&C also took the third set.
The first point of the fourth set came from Yang Hyo-jin. By the end, she had 16 points.
Yang’s best performance came in the fifth set. After losing the fourth set, HHI lost momentum, but Yang Hyo-jin scored the first point of the fifth set with a fastball and the second point with a block, leading the team to rebound.
Hyundai E&C was down by one or two points after that, but Yang Hyo-jin scored open points at 8-10 and 10-11 to keep the chase alive. At 14-14 in a deuce game, she blocked an open attack from her opponent Oh Se-yeon with a one-man block. At 17-17, Yang Hyo-jin’s attack was unsuccessful, but she saved the ball that fell after being hit by the blocker to create a follow-up attack opportunity. Hyundai E&C took the lead again with a point from Jung Ji-yoon, and ended the long game with a block from Lee Da-hyun on Silva’s attack at 18-17.
After the match, Yang Hyo-jin said, “The opponent had a good momentum and we played hard. Keeping my concentration was the driving force behind my victory.” Looking back on her block at 14-14 in the fifth set, she said, “I couldn’t get the point, so I thought I had to get it no matter what.”
Hyundai E&C consolidated its lead at the top of the standings with four straight wins. “It seemed like we were going to win the fifth set or lose it. In that situation, I felt that my teammates were trying to do their part, so I was more engaged,” she said.