GS Caltex, Pepper Savings Bank keep spring volleyball hopes alive with sweep…Samsung Fire jumps to No. 4 with win over OK Financial Group

GS Caltex kept its spring volleyball hopes alive.

GS Caltex swept Pepper Savings Bank 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-12) in three sets on Wednesday at Jangchung Gymnasium in Seoul in the Dodram 2023-2024 V-League Women’s Division.

With the three points, GS Caltex (51-18 W-15 L) moved within seven points of third-place Jungkwanjang 스포츠토토사이트 (58-19 W-14 L).

With both teams having three games left to play before the end of the regular season, the matchup on July 7 will be a watershed moment in the race for the final postseason spot.

The V-League postseason is basically a one-game playoff between the first through third-place teams in the regular season, but if the difference between the third and fourth-place teams is three points or less, a single-elimination semifinal matchup will be held.

With Kang So-hwi out of the starting lineup due to his recent slump, GS Caltex struggled early in the first set against last-place Pepper Savings Bank. At 20-19, Giselle Silva (real name Silva) scored back-to-back strong spikes to break the deadlock.

After Park’s attack went off the court, Silva seamlessly converted a toss from behind the net. Silva, who was also responsible for the 25th point, scored 12 points in the set alone.

GS Caltex trailed 12-17 in the second set, but Silva’s firepower, combined with scoring support from the Korean players, helped them to come back. Yoo Seo-yeon opened the scoring with a kill, and Pepper Savings Bank contributed two points with an over net and an open out by Yasmin Bedardt (real name Yasmin).

Silva scored three straight points to make it 18-17, and Yoo Seo-yeon and Kim Ji-yeon extended the lead with a quick open and a service ace, respectively. A quick open by Kang So-hwi and a kill by Moon Ji-yoon ended the second set.

GS Caltex, with the momentum in their favor, rode the surprise performances of middle blockers Oh Seo-yeon (5 points) and Moon Ji-yoon (4 points) to the shutout victory.

Silva led GS Caltex‘s offense with 24 points (51.11% shooting percentage), while other players such as Oh Se-yeon (8 points), Kang So-hui (7 points), Darin Pinsuwan (real name Darin – 6 points), and Moon Ji-yoon (6 points) also contributed.

Pepper Savings Bank had Yasmin “Ssangpo” Yasmin (13 points) and Park Jung-ah (12 points), but it wasn’t enough.

In the men’s match at the Sangryoksu Gymnasium in Ansan, Samsung Chemical defeated home team OK Financial Group 3-1 (25-19, 27-25, 16-25, 25-20).

With its second straight victory, Samsung Chemical moved up to fourth place with 18 wins, 15 losses and 48 points, pushing KEPCO (16 wins, 17 losses and 47 points) to fifth place.

With three games left in the regular season, Samsung Chemical closed the gap on third-place OK Financial Group (18-15, 52 points) to four points.

Samsung Fire, which has won eight championships, the most in the V-League, last won the title in the 2013-2014 season. Their last postseason appearance was in the 2017-2018 season.

Samsung Fire snapped a 13-game losing streak at the Evergreen Gymnasium dating back to Nov. 13, 2019.

On the day, Samsung Fire dominated OK Financial Group with 12 service aces to just five. Yosvani Hernandez (nicknamed Yosvani) led the way with 21 points, including six service aces, while Jargalchukt Enghereden (nicknamed Eddie) was all over the court with 25 points, including three service aces.

The 25 points is a new career-high for Eddie. Kim Jung-ho contributed 11 points with two blocks and two service aces, while Kim Jun-woo chipped in 11 points with four solo blocks.

After taking the first set easily, Samsung Chemicals was down to 23-24 set point in the second set before an opponent error led to a deuce.

At 25-25, the team clinched the second set thanks to a service error by OK Financial Group’s Song Hee-chae and back-to-back errors by Leonardo Leyva Martinez (registered name Leo).

After being one-sided in the third set, Samsung Chemical scored five consecutive points at 20-20 in the fourth set to clinch the third point.

OK Financial Group, which needed three more points to cross the threshold into the ninth division of spring volleyball, was dealt a blow when Leo (25 points) suffered a sprained back in the closing minutes of the fourth set.