Opponent coaches are also ‘collapsing’… Fearful Kim Yeon-kyung – Yelena Ssangpo, Heungkuk Life Insurance’s sustaining power
Heungkuk Life’s signature striker Kim Yeon-kyung (35) and Yelena Mrazenovich (26, registered name Yelena) are a combination that managers and players of the other six clubs fear. Both Kim Yeon-kyung, who is 192 cm tall, and Yelena, who is 196 cm, both have formidable heights and are showing off fierce attack power. They are ranked at the top of the women’s offensive overall in the 2022-2023 season. Kim Yeon-kyung ranked second with an attack success rate of 46.27%, and Yelena ranked third with 43.83%. While Yasmin of Hyundai E&C (46.86%), who ranked first, is on closure due to frequent injuries, Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena are steadily showing off their strength. 스포츠토토
Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena also showed off their power in an away game against Pepper Savings Bank on the 15th. Heungkuk Life Insurance won a sweaty victory against the lowest-ranking Pepper Savings Bank, but it was the performance of these twins in the end that supported the team. Yelena scored 27 points (attack success rate 45.00%), and Kim Yeon-kyung led the scoring with 24 points (41.38%). Heungkuk Life Insurance took a valuable 3 points amidst their performance and started to press again against Hyundai Engineering & Construction (20 wins, 2 losses, 56 points) with 51 points (17 wins and 5 losses).
The reason why Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena were able to work steadily was that former head coach Lee Young-soo and acting head coach Kim Dae-gyeong discussed with former coach Kwon Sun-chan and continued the tactics they conceived. Heungkuk Life Insurance explained that ‘the direction they want to go with the club is different’ while dismissing former manager Kwon. The club asked for a way to rotate by dropping Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena, but the coaching staff continued to push it as it was the best combination found after many experiments.
If Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena continue to rotate while sticking together, it is expected to put a considerable burden on the other 6 teams in the future. In fact, other team coaches also shook their heads. GS Caltex coach Cha Sang-hyun said, “Setter Ahn Hye-jin, who has to constantly judge the court situation, is having a hard time (because of Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena). It is very burdensome especially when the two of them are standing in the front line. Our strikers may break through if they are in 100% condition, but it is a combination that would be burdensome for any team.” Kang Seong-hyeong, director of Hyundai E&C, also said, “The combination of Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena is burdensome,” and said, “It is even more burdensome if middle blocker (center) Joo-ah Lee is added.”
Even in severe internal conflict, Heungkuk Life Insurance still aims to win. While it is still unclear whether the new command tower will be appointed, the players are trying not to be shaken. In the midst of this, much attention is focused on the future performance of Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena, the pillars of the team. Keeping these two people from getting tired is also something Heungkuk Life Insurance should pay attention to.