‘Roadworks’ newcomers Ko Eui-jeong, Park Eun-ji, and Choi Ga-eun are full of anticipation instead of concern
The defending champions have undergone a lot of changes since winning the title. Park Jung-ah (Pepper Savings Bank) and Chung Dae-young 온라인바카라(GS Caltex), two of the team’s core players, left the team through free agency (FA). There was a lot of concern about the loss of power. However, Korea Expressway Corporation has been raising expectations. This is thanks to the three freshmen who joined the team.
Outside hitter Ko Eui-jeong (23) joined the team via trade on the 23rd of last month. “It’s my first time in Japan and my first time training overseas, but I’m having fun,” she said. “Actually, when I came here, I was a little worried because I had to find my rhythm right away, but I think it’s good because I’ll be able to adapt faster while playing.”
“I still have a lot of mistakes,” Ko admitted, “and I need to learn what I’m lacking quickly while playing.” “Coach (Kim Jong-min) definitely knows what he wants,” she continued, “and he gives me detailed feedback when I work out. For me, he talks a lot about blocking timing and attacking,” she added.
“I feel a little bit of pressure coming to a championship team, but it’s a chance to show more of myself,” Ko said, adding, “I’ve always thought of everything as an opportunity.” “When I first came here, my sisters said, ‘We have two strong serves (Ko and Park) on the team,’ and I felt good,” she said, “I want to be better in everything this season than I have been in other seasons.”
Setter Park Eun-ji, 19, also joined the team via trade. Park Eun-ji, who made her professional debut last year and was considered a contender for the Rookie of the Year award, said, “I’m actually not very nervous, but I felt a lot of pressure and nervousness from the middle of last season,” adding, “I was actually worried when I came to the team. I wondered if I would be able to do well,” she confessed.
It was her teammates who hugged her. “They joked with me like we’ve always known each other, and I was so grateful,” she said, “I’m not the first one to approach them, but it was really nice.” “It’s also good that I have a lot of friends (Im Soo, Lee Ye-eun, and Lim Joo-eun),” she said, “and we talk more when we eat.” “The teachers tell me not to be shy, and the director tells me to be confident and relaxed,” she added.
Park dreams of a fresh start. “I think I need to forget everything I’ve done so far and start with a fresh mind,” he said, “After all, I’m the one who creates opportunities. I hope I can get better quickly and overcome it so that I can help (Lee) Yoon-jung a lot when she is having a hard time. When the coach puts me in, I will make sure that she doesn’t hesitate.”
Middle blocker Choi Ga-eun, 22, joined the organization in May in a trade with Lee Ig-eun (Pepper Savings Bank). This happened after Pepper Savings Bank did not tie Igoeun to a protected player after signing Park Jung-ah. “Honestly, I was embarrassed and confused at first,” Choi said, “but when I finally joined the team, the atmosphere was good and the training system was really well organized.”
During training camp, Choi showed off her skills in several scrimmages against Japan’s Toray Arrows. “I was starting with a new team, so I worked harder to prepare,” Choi said. “Japan is a country that plays speed volleyball, so I was expecting that my blocking and reading would not be good, so I thought I would upgrade that part and go to Korea.”
Choi added, “At Pepper (Savings Bank), the pressure was a little less because they had younger players. But here, they were the champions last season, and they have that kind of pride, so there’s more pressure,” Choi said. “I was worried that the difference in players would look bad, especially since I was supposed to be in (Jung) Dae-young’s spot.” However, “I had to do it anyway.
“But it’s something I have to do, and I think it could be a better opportunity for me,” she said, adding, “I want to make sure I show what I didn’t show at the Kobo Cup (due to injury) during the season.”
The defending champions have undergone a lot of changes since winning the title. Park Jung-ah (Pepper Savings Bank) and Chung Dae-young 온라인바카라(GS Caltex), two of the team’s core players, left the team through free agency (FA). There was a lot of concern about the loss of power. However, Korea Expressway Corporation has been raising expectations.…