The competition for the rookie of the year in professional volleyball is flowing in an unpredictable landscape. Both men and women are confused without a ‘rank 1’.
In this season’s draft, the percentage of seniors was higher than ever. This is because promising players have jumped into the professional stage in their sophomore and junior years over the past few years. That’s why there weren’t many players who were classified as special resources. In fact, there are not many rookies who have secured a starting position on the team this season. Still, there are some standout players. Hyundai Capital setter Lee Hyun-seung (22), and Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance middle blocker Kim Jun-woo.
Lee Hyun-seung, who graduated from Hanyang University, a prestigious male volleyball high school, has been a famous player since high school. Lee Hyun-seung, who went to Hanyang University with his twin Lee Hyun-jin, is tall (1m90cm) as a setter. He was predicted to be highly likely to appear in the 2021-22 season draft, and wore a Hyundai Capital uniform with the second overall pick in the first round of the draft.
At the beginning of the opening, Lee Hyun-seung could not step on the court. Director Choi Tae-woong delayed Lee Hyun-seung’s participation, saying, “We still need time.” However, from the middle of the 3rd round, he started ahead of his seniors Lee Won-joong and Kim Myung-gwan. Lee Hyeon-seung, who likes quick attacks, excels in utilizing the middle. However, he still lacks breathing and passing accuracy with wing strikers. Instead, he has the guts that a setter needs. His ability to outwit opponent blockers is also top-notch.
Kim Jun-woo (23), who jumped into the professional league after finishing his third year at Hongik University, was selected by Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance in the second order after Lee Hyun-seung in the draft. His height is 1m96cm, which is not tall for a middle blocker. However, he has good jumping power and speed, and has accumulated experience as a regular starter since college. Even though he switched positions from middle blocker to outside heater and back to middle blocker, his blocking ability was recognized in college. Even coming pro, he is catching 0.553 (6th place) blocks per set.
His offensive ability also improved after he turned pro. On the 21st, before KB Insurance, he succeeded in 7 attacks, the most since his debut, and scored the most points (14 points) in one game. His strength is that he uses a spike serve, which is rare for a middle blocker. He was the only rookie to post triple-digit scoring (116 points).
Shin Ho-jin (22), the first overall player, also participated in as many games (17 matches, 42 sets) as the two players. However, as Song Myeong-geun returned, the opportunity to participate gradually decreased. As OK Financial Group is in a fierce battle for ranking, it does not seem easy to catch up at the last minute.
The most anticipated player in the women’s division was Yeom Er-Hung, the first overall player. Yum Eorheng (19), a naturalized player from Mongolia, is the tallest (1m95cm) among female volleyball players in Korea. However, she was out for the season early as she only played in 2 games and had knee surgery.
With Yeom Er Hung’s departure, her competition for Rookie of the Year was a mess. Among the players selected in the 2nd to 4th ranks, there is no clear hit. Heungkuk Life Insurance middle blocker Lim Hye-rim (19) played 13 games, but she only scored 9 points. Pepper Savings Bank Apposite Lee Min-seo (20) also appeared in 14 games (5 points), but did not start even once. KGC Ginseng Corporation’s setter Park Eun-ji (19), who is good at serving and blocking, also spent less time playing games compared to the beginning. 헤라카지노
Currently, IBK Industrial Bank setter Kim Yun-woo (19) and KGC Ginseng Corporation outside heater Choi Hyo-seo (20) are ahead. Kim Yun-woo is often put in when Kim Ha-gyeong, the starting pitcher, is faltering. Although he is having difficulties with the fast volleyball that coach Kim Ho-cheol, a former setter, pursues, he has the ability to save high RBI attacks.
Choi Hyo-seo is low in the nomination list (13th overall in the second round), but has played the most starts (9 games) among newcomers. Although he is short (1m71cm), he is excellent in defense and fills the vacant place where the main player Libero Nolan was injured. With the comeback of Nolan, it has recently been used as a server (one point server + libero). He is the only rookie to go to the All-Star Game.
It seems that it will be the last round to decide the Rookie of the Year. This is because as the ranking competition ends, opportunities for new players to participate increase. A player who shows intensity at the last minute is likely to win the Rookie of the Year trophy, which he only has once in his life.