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“Except for a few players, there are no players who want to change.”

Heungkuk Life, coached by Marcello Avondanza, lost the best-of-five best-of-three series against Hyundai E&C in the Dodram 2023-24 V-League Women’s Championship on Monday at the Samsan World Gymnasium in Incheon, Korea, by a set score of 2-3 (25-22, 17-25, 25-23, 23-25, 7-15). As a result, Heungkuk Life, which lost the first, second, and third games, failed to reach the top.

Heungkuk Life was looking to win its fifth championship and return to the top after five years, following the 2005-06, 2006-07, 2008-09 and 2018-19 seasons.

The trio combined for 76 points, led by Willow Johnson’s 30, Yeon-Kyung Kim’s 23 and Reina Tokoku’s 23. Kim Soo-ji also had five points, including two serves and one block, but was not smiling.

“I don’t feel good,” Abondanza said after the match. Before that, the Hyundai E&C players were mentally strong. They showed good volleyball. I want to congratulate them,” he said.

Afterward, he made a statement.

“It was not at all what I expected at the beginning of the season. I had certain expectations regardless of the final result today. But I didn’t see any players trying to grow or change within the team. As a foreign coach, I wanted to try new things and make changes, and I’m disappointed that I didn’t.”

“Of course, there are players who don’t. Kim Yeon-kyung and Kim Soo-ji tried to do it. Do Soo-bin and Park Soo-yeon tried to change and showed great growth. But the team as a whole didn’t change. We tried to improve the mental aspect, but it didn’t go the way we wanted.”

There was also the issue of foreign players in the middle of the season. Jelena 안전놀이터 Mrazenovic (real name Jelena) was replaced after an attitude controversy.

“The foreign player part didn’t go the way we wanted it to,” says Abondanza. “Willow did her best,” he said, adding, “(Kim) Dae-eun is an important player, she’s an international player, but she wasn’t in good shape and we couldn’t use her in the season. Kim Hae-ran is also a great player, but she was not in good shape. Today was also difficult,” he said.

“This is the second year in a row that this has happened. It needs to be fixed and changed,” and left the interview room.

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