The 2023-2024 V-League season, which ended with Hyundai Engineering & Construction Hillstate’s victory on April 1, has already been over a month since the season ended. However, in a short period of just over a month, the V-League has held many events(?) held in the off-season, including the free agent market, compensation player nominations, and the Asian quarter draft. Once the foreign player tryout schedule, which will be held in Dubai, UAE from the 7th to the 9th, is completed, each club’s framework for the next season can be said to be completed to some extent.

Following the 2022-2023 season, the Heungkuk Life Insurance Pink Spiders, who were unfortunately on the verge of reaching the top by finishing second in the championship in the 2023-2024 season, had middle blocker Lee Joo-ah (IBK Industrial Bank of Korea Altos) leave the team in the free agent market and recruited outside hitter Choi Eun-ji. did. Heungkuk Life Insurance fans were hoping to recruit a surefire card that could become Kim Yeon-kyung’s partner, such as Lee So-young (Industrial Bank of Korea) or Kang So-hwi (Korea Expressway Corporation Hi-Pass), but the reality did not turn out as Heungkuk Life Insurance hoped.

Heungkuk Life Insurance, which re-recruited middle blocker Lim Hye-rim as a compensation player for Joo-ah Lee, who left for Industrial Bank of Korea, also designated Chinese middle blocker Huang Rui-lei, who boasts a height of 196 cm, in the Asia Quarter Draft on the 1st. Ultimately, this means that the position of outside hitter, who will stand in Kim Yeon-kyung’s lineup next season, must be filled by existing players and newly recruited Choi Eun-ji. Therefore, next season, Heungkuk Life Insurance desperately needs the revival of Kim Da-eun, who was unable to play her part due to injury in the 2023-2024 season.

Heungkuk Life Insurance selected a middle blocker as a replacement for Reina.

In the 2023-2024 season, Reina Tokoku played as a starting outside hitter along with Kim Yeon-kyung in the Asian quarter. Raina was selected by Heungkuk Life Insurance as the latest 7th pick in last year’s Asia Quarter Draft, but performed better than expected, scoring 388 points with a 36.89% success rate in 35 games. In fact, Raina ranked 15th in scoring and scored the second most points during the Asian quarter, following Cheong Kwan Jang Red Sparks’ Megawattie Puttiwi (736 points).

Raina’s biggest advantage is her ability to play multiple positions. At the beginning of the season, when Heungkuk Life’s middle blockers such as Kim Su-ji and Kim Chae-yeon left due to injury, Raina surprisingly transformed into a middle blocker and performed better than expected. Considering that Raina’s height is only 177cm(?), it was a very surprising performance. After new foreign player Willow Johnson joined in the 5th round, Raina returned to the outside hitter position and formed a triangle with Kim Yeon-kyung and Willow.

Raina, who struggled in the championship game against Hyundai Engineering & Construction by scoring 65 points with a 43.28% success rate, did not apply for the V-League Asia Quarter tryout in order to return to the Japanese stage after the end of the 2023-2024 season. For Heungkuk Life Insurance, Kim Yeon-kyung’s outside hitter partner, who had a difficult time persuading her to extend her active duty, has disappeared. The good news is that Heungkuk Life Insurance obtained the 4th overall pick in the Asia Quarter Draft on the 1st.

However, Heungkuk Life Insurance coach Marcello Abondanza called Chinese middle blocker Huang Ruirei in the Asia Quarter Draft on the 1st. It was judged that the gap left by Lee Joo-ah as a middle blocker was bigger than the outside hitter left by Raina. Another reason why Coach Abondanza selected a middle blocker in the Asia Quarter Draft is because he expects Da-eun Kim, who was selected as the starting outside hitter before Raina in the 2023-2024 season, to return healthy.

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