Korean Air aims to make ‘new history’ by winning four consecutive titles, but three teams are determined to stop them

The 2023-2024 V-League Men’s postseason is simple. It’s either the Korean Air Dynasty, which has won three consecutive titles since the 2020-2021 season, can win a fourth straight title, or the other three teams can stop them.

Korean Air, which narrowly won its fourth consecutive regular season title thanks to a late-season comeback by Samsung Fire, second-place Woori Card, third-place OK Financial Group, and fourth-place Hyundai Capital, which started the season in sixth place and eventually made it to the semifinals, expressed their resolve and aspirations at the 2023-2024 V-League Postseason Media Day at Rivera Hotel in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, on April 18.

Korean Air coach Tommy Tilikainen’s goal was short and sweet. “What we are trying to do is the first of its kind. We want to make history,” he said, and when asked to reveal his ‘secret weapon,’ he replied, “The motivation of our players is our secret weapon to win our fourth consecutive title.”

Shin Young-cheol, head coach of second-place Woori Card, which awaits the winner of OK Financial Group and Hyundai Capital in the playoffs, also hid his desire to win the championship. “I haven’t won the championship yet. I really want to do it,” he said, adding, “If the players play their roles well, it will be a fun match.”

Starting in the semi-playoffs, the lowest stage of the postseason, the two coaches were more focused on the opponent in front of them than on Tado Korean Air. “I think the players are great just to have made it this far,” said OK Financial Group coach Masashi Ogino, adding, “There’s Korean Air above us and Korean Air above us, so we’ll go one game at a time.”

Hyundai Capital’s acting head coach Jin Soon-ki said, “Our story is just beginning. As you all know, our team has had many twists and turns, and despite being ranked sixth at the start of the sixth round, we have created a story. We are determined to end this story with a better result,” he said. “If I had a secret weapon, I would have already used it to get to the top. As coach Ogino said, we are in fourth place, so every game is important. I will think about the secret 스포츠토토 weapon for the championship when I go to the bigger stage.”

The representative players on the day were Chae Hwan Chae (OK Financial Group), born in 1996, Heo Soo-bong (Hyundai Capital), born in 1998, and Lim Dong-hyuk (Korean Air) and Kim Ji-han (Woori Card), born in 1999. When asked to say what they were better than their opponents, Lim spoke first. “I’m most comfortable with (Kim) Ji-han, so I should talk about her,” he said, adding, “I don’t think I’m inferior to her in terms of aggressiveness.” “I know that Dong Hyuk is better at offense than me. I’ll make up for it by showing you a higher ranking than Dong Hyuk.”

Naturally, the third- and fourth-ranked players compared themselves. “I never thought I was better at volleyball than Su Bong-yi,” said Chae Hwan. I’ll work harder to show my team’s fighting spirit,” while Heo Su-bong was humble, “I’ll do better than Ji Hwan-yi and go to the playoffs and championship.”

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