‘Back Attack Show’ Jia-‘Yeonta Artist’ Mega…Jung Kwan-jang Ssangpo hot on PS too

Mega-Jia Jung Kwan-jang’s foreign pairing took the best-of-three playoffs (PO-3) to the third round.

The team won the second round of the Dodram 2023-24 Dodram V League Women’s Division PO 2 against Heungkuk Life 3-1 (25-19, 25-23, 20-25, 25-15) at Chungmu Gymnasium in Daejeon on Thursday. After a 1-3 loss in the first game, which gave Heungkuk Life a 100% chance (17 out of 17) of advancing to the championship match, the team showed flawless organization in the second game at home.

After a 31-point performance in Game 1, the firepower of Giovanna Milana (also known as Gia) and Megawatti Puttiwi (also known as Mega), who supported her 20 points, was on full display in Game 2. Gia finished with 30 points and Mega had 25.

Down 8-11 in the first set, Mega turned the tide with a series of exquisite attacks to score a point, which was immediately followed by a serve from Jia. From there, it was all Mega on the flank and Zia behind the back-row attack line. At 20-17, Mega attacked and Jia served to extend the lead. Chung won the first set by six points.

In the second set, Mega was a bit more dominant. She kept scoring points even when her opponent’s blockers were swarming. At 6-4, Mega landed a spike serve and calmly scored a point to tie the game at 12-12 as her opponent rallied. At 17-15, she scored a back-attack point to extend the lead to three. Jia also made her presence felt as if she was competing with Mega. At 22-19, she scored a back-attack to seal the second set victory, and on the ensuing defense, she digged Willow’s attack. With the score at 24-23, Jia put a back-attack spike into the opposite court to extend Chung’s lead.

Jung Kwan-jang lost the third set 20-25. Heungkuk Life ace Kim Yeon-kyung, who had only nine points in the second set, came alive. However, Mega-Gia’s firepower remained hot in the third set.

Dropping the fourth set could have led to elimination. Both players were focused from the beginning of the fourth set. Mega showed off her controlled attack from the side, while Jia unleashed one of her sharpest back-attack attacks of the day to score points. At 10-6, both players scored back-to-back points. At 12-7, Mega scored three consecutive points to send Jung Kwan-jang into the third game. Even after reaching the 20-point mark, Mega showed great control by hitting back-to-back attacks to empty areas of the opponent’s court. She calmly executed attacks that took away the strength of her opponents.

Jung Kwan-jang’s duo was hot throughout the regular season and hasn’t cooled down in spring volleyball. Head coach Ko Hee-jin has been trying to find the right outside hitter (left side) in Korea so that the team can rely less on the two players and still have an effective offense. With captain Lee So-young out with an injury, the first game featured Park Hye-min, but on this day, the team opted to use fourth-year Kim Se-sein. And it worked.

PO headed to game three. In the 18th best-of-three PO, it will be interesting to see if history will be made as the first team to lose the first game to reach the championship.


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