‘Smiling and showing us’: Yoo Jung-woo on how Chungnam University is leading the way
“We want to make a meaningful season.”
Chungnam University won a three-set match 3-2 (25-22, 19-25, 18-25, 25-19, 15-13) against Chosun University in a qualifying match for the 2023 KUSF College Volleyball U-League at Chosun University Gymnasium in Gwangju on Saturday.
Sophomore outside hitter Jungwoo Yoo (OH, 188 cm) led the way with 17 points, including two blocks. She had the most points on the team while committing just two errors.
After the game, Yoo said, “When (Kim) Seung-hyun got hurt, it really shook up the team. There were parts of the game that were disturbing, but we worked hard without losing our focus, and it feels good to see that it paid off,” he said after the win. Chungnam National University was also nervous as Chosun University was playing strongly at home. Yoo Jung-woo said, “We were also worried. We didn’t feel that it was that difficult because we were playing at a lower level than the other teams,” he said.
During the match against Gyeongsang National University, main outside hitter Kim Seung-hyun (4th year, 186 cm) was injured. He tore a ligament and was unable to play in the first half of the U-League. In his place, head coach Lee Ki-beom inserted Yoo Jung-woo, who said, “(Yoo) is originally an outside hitter. He played as an outside hitter due to team circumstances, but I expected him to do well because he had experience in the position,” he said.
Playing as an outside hitter for the first time in a long time, Yoo was also under pressure. “I was worried about this match,” he said. There were some unstable parts, but I think I helped the team, so I’m satisfied,” he said.
“It’s a position I’ve always played, so I had a feeling. I prefer the outside hitter’s offense. Of course, there is some pressure to receive,” he said.
Yoo is definitely taking advantage of his opportunities when they come, but there are still concerns. Last season, a series of injuries slowed him down. He wants to make it a good one after a difficult start to the season. “(Kim) Seung-hyun got injured, and then I got injured, and it was like a routine. So on the one hand, I’m worried. This season, I want to break the jinx and show a good game without getting injured.”
The team has shown more stability than last season and is looking like a strong team. Yoo Jung-woo said, “The coach tells us to do our thing regardless of winning or losing. We also try to make the game fun and happy for each other. We laugh more than the other teams on the court, and that creates a synergistic effect,” he said. As he said, Coach Lee focused on improving his team’s performance rather than winning or losing. It is no exaggeration to say that this is what made Chungnam University what it is today.
With 4 wins and 1 loss, Chungnam University is closing in on first place Kyungpook National University (5 wins). On Wednesday, May 31, the two teams will meet at Chungnam National University Gymnasium. Yoo Jung-woo says, “Kyungpook National University has a lot of momentum. We’ve played a lot of practice games with them, and we’ve played a lot of matches. Playing at home, I think our momentum will be even better,” he smiled.
In conclusion, he said, “I think our team is better than last year. We will play well in the remaining matches and end the season with a meaningful one.”
Chungnam National University and Kyungpook National University meet after the victory. Let’s see if Chungnam National University’s happy volleyball can work once again.