The South Korean women’s volleyball team suffered its sixth consecutive defeat at the Paris 2024 Olympic Qualifiers with a loss to Thailand.
Led by head coach Cesar Hernandez, South Korea (ranked 38th in the world) lost their sixth Olympic Qualification Group C match against Thailand (ranked 13th) by a set score of 0-3 (14-25 16-25 16-25) in Łódź, Poland on Wednesday (July 23).
Korea was out-blocked 3-9 and out-served 1-3. Park Jung-ah (Pepper Savings Bank) and Kang So-hwi (GS Caltex) were limited to eight and seven points, respectively.
South Korea, which is in Group C of qualifying alongside Thailand, the United States (2nd), Italy (5th), Poland (7th), Germany (12th), Colombia (22nd), and Slovenia (26th), is winless in six matches. They are the only team in Group C without a win and are effectively out of the running for a spot in Paris. Thailand improved to 3-0 with the win.
South Korea failed to take control of the match.
Down 12-15 in the first set, the Koreans were unable to stop their opponent’s offense and gave up four consecutive points. They tried to turn the tide with a kill from Pyo Seung-ju (IBK), but a lethargic performance on both offense and defense cost them the set. They were outblocked 2-4.
The second set was no different.
Korea was unable to contain the opponent’s hitters in a tight flow of 8-10 and fell behind 14-20 due to shaky reception. Lee Sun-woo (Jeong Kwan-jang) and Lee Ju-ah (Heungkuk Life) scored points, but it wasn’t enough to turn the tide.
Korea took an 8-7 lead at the start of the third set thanks to Kang So-hwi and Jung Ho-young (Kwan-jang), but they gave up seven 안전놀이터 points in a row to hand the momentum to their opponents.
To make matters worse, their monotonous attacks were accompanied by errors, and the gap widened to 11-20. Until the end, they struggled with their opponent’s promising play and could not overcome the large gap.
South Korea will be looking for their first win in their final qualifying match against Slovenia on April 24.