Pepper Savings Bank without the ‘sting’

Pepper Savings Bank (Pepper), the youngest team in the women’s professional volleyball league, founded in 2021, has been at the bottom of the league for the past two seasons. This season is no different. As of Nov. 18, the team has lost nine straight games. Their last win was against GS Caltex in Seoul on March 10. They are last among the seven clubs (6-2 W-14 L), the only team with less than double-digit wins. During the losing streak, only one game went to five sets, against Heungkuk Life earlier this month at home. Fans are calling for the team to “stop shaking helplessly, even if it means kneeling down.”

The reasons for the slump are complex. Joe Trinzi (36, USA), who was hired in June, has been criticized for not being able to adapt his tactics to the Korean game after serving as a coach and analyst in the U.S. and Canada. 온라인카지노 “I’m going to keep trying to make changes,” he said, adding that it’s not easy to quickly combine his experience with the Korean game.

It’s also frustrating that the players the team aggressively recruited heading into this season aren’t performing at their best. Pepper jumped into the free agency (FA) market this year and signed ‘clutch Park’ Park Jung-ah (30) for a total of 2.325 billion won ($475 million in salary and 300 million in incentives), the highest contract in the history of women’s volleyball, and selected ‘proven player’ Yasmin Bedardt (27, USA), who played for Hyundai E&C. The team even went through a ‘transfer frenzy’ by releasing and bringing back setter Lee Ig-eun (28) from protection.

However, Park has been sidelined with a shoulder injury. While Yasmin is struggling as the fourth highest scorer (391 points), volleyball is not a solo sport. Yasmin also has to stay in shape, as she was sidelined by a back injury last season with Hyundai E&C. To make matters worse, Pepper ranked last on the team in receiving efficiency (29.79%), which naturally reduces the scope for Igneun to play. Without a reliable toss, the offense becomes more stagnant and monotonous.

There was also bad news. Last year’s rookie draft brought in the tallest Korean female player (194.5 centimeters), Mongolia’s Dmitriy Dmitriev (19), who helped her through her naturalization test, but she ended up on the operating table with another knee injury this year, effectively wiping out her entire season.

Pepper has called for a “breakout” season. She had hoped to be the “dark horse” that would shake up the women’s game, but at this rate, she’s likely to finish bottom for the third straight season. Pepper will face fifth-ranked IBK IBK in Hwaseong on the 19th.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *