Before the South Korean women’s national volleyball team roster was released, Moon Jung-won (31-Korea Expressway Corporation) was surprised to receive a call from national coach Han Yoo-mi (41).
“No, you picked me to be your libero.”
Arriving at Incheon International Airport on Feb. 22 in a Korean women’s national team training uniform to fly to Turkuye to compete in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL), the first international tournament of 2023, Moon Jung-jeong had a playful look on her face as she recalled the call with Han in April.
“I want you to play libero for the national team,” Han asked.
“It’s too much pressure. I don’t think I can do it,” the coach replied, “You’ve already proven your defense in the team. You can do it. We need you as a libero on the national team.” The coach insisted.
Eventually, Moon joined the national team as a libero and trained at the Jincheon Athletes’ Village for about a month, starting on April 24.
In fact, Moon played as an opposite spiker for the team, alongside libero Lee Myeong-ok.
In the 2022-2023 V-League regular season, Moon finished second in receiving efficiency at 56.94%, behind Lee Myeong-ok (59.85%).
For Moon Jung-won, who had already played “libero-grade defense” in the V-League, playing as a “defense specialist” libero was a burden.
“Libero is considered a ‘specialty’ in volleyball, along with setter. I’m very close to Lee Myeong-ok, so I know how hard it is to be a libero.” “Even after joining the national team and training as a libero in earnest, my worries didn’t go away. Even now, when I’m about to leave the country to compete in the VNL, I’m still feeling overwhelmed.”
However, everyone around her is cheering for libero Moon Jung-won.
Lee Myeong-ok, who has a lot of experience in international competitions, also worried about Moon Jeong-won, saying, “I’m worried that she might get her heart broken because international competitions are more high-profile,” but advised her, “If you show your skills, you can finish the competition well. Don’t worry about it in advance.”
Shin Yeon-kyung (IBK), who was selected as a libero alongside Moon Jung-won, also supported her, saying, “Senior, I was worried when I switched from playing outside hitter to libero, but I don’t regret it now. You will do better.”
Moon told herself, “I’m getting encouragement and support, so I have to do better.”
She’s also working on her occasional “apogee spiking” habits.
The libero can only do an ‘under toss’ in the front row.
Coach Han Yumi explains, “Since Moon Jung-won’s original position is an apogee spiker, she sometimes tossed over her head even in front of the attack line at the beginning of training. Through repetitive training, she is working on that habit,” explains Coach Han.
“Her serve receive and digs (defense by pulling up the opponent’s attack) are as good as our existing liberos. She will be a great addition to the national team.”먹튀검증
Moon Jung-won, who was also worried, gained confidence and motivation through training and encouragement.
“I want to do well, too, and I don’t want to hear that ‘libero was a problem for this team,'” Moon said. “At the VNL, we’re facing the best players in the world. I want to be able to block their serves and attacks from the back row so that Korea can create more offensive opportunities.”