Women’s volleyball coach César ‘at risk of lowest ever performance’ as he targets “highest ever fifth place”

South Korea’s women’s volleyball team is facing the prospect of its lowest-ever Asian Games finish.

The women’s volleyball team lost to China 0-3 (12-25 21-25 16-25) in the first match of Group E in the quarter-final round of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games on Thursday.

It was the second time in 17 years that the Korean women’s volleyball team missed out on an Asian Games medal after finishing fifth at the 2006 Doha Games.

Combined with the men’s team’s seventh-place finish, it is also the first ever ‘shared medal’ for men’s and women’s volleyball.

South Korea will now play the remainder of the quarter-final round against North Korea on the 5th, followed by a two-day fifth to eighth place match on the 6th.

A top-five finish is not out of the question.

South Korea, ranked 40th in the world, will likely face Kazakhstan (32nd in the world), Chinese Taipei (45th) and North Korea (unranked) in the fifth-eighth place match, which they lost to Kazakhstan in the fifth place match at the Asian Championships last month.

The set score was 0-3 (24-26 23-25 23-25).

“We will prepare well to achieve the highest possible fifth place in the remaining rankings,” said head coach Cesar Gonzalez after the match at the Changchen Campus Gymnasium of Hangzhou Normal University in China, adding, “We will focus on the match against Kazakhstan, which will be a difficult match.”

When asked to assess the performance of the Korean women’s volleyball team, he said, “Results tell the position, I think (the quarter-final disappointment) is the reality of Korean women’s volleyball,” adding, “We need to find solutions to change the situation.”

César’s team has received a string of failing grades this year, from the FIVB Volleyball Nations League (12 straight VNL losses) to the Asian Championships (lowest-ever sixth place finish), the Paris Olympic Qualifiers (seven straight) and the Asian Games.

“There are still matches left, so I hope (the players) will treat every match as an opportunity to grow and raise the level of Korean volleyball,” Cesar said.

When asked about not being able to fill the void left by the retired Kim Yeon-kyung, he said, “It’s like Serbia losing (Tijana) Boskovic and Turkiye losing (Melissa) Vargas. During my tenure, I tried to get the 30 to 40 points that Kim used to get from different players.” 스포츠토토

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