“I feel like I have energy”
“I feel good, like the heavens helped us.”
KEPCO won the men’s fourth round of the Dodram 2023-2024 V-League against Samsung Fire 3-0 (25-17 25-22 25-15) in straight sets at Suwon Gymnasium on Nov. 11. KEPCO (32 points) earned three points and moved into fifth place, ahead of Hyundai Capital (31 points).
Lim Sung-jin, the centerpiece of KEPCO’s offense, led the team to victory with 14 points (60% attack percentage). His attacks from the front and back of the court found the back of the net. Along with Lim, other offensive players such as Taith (20 points) and Seo Jae-duk (10 points) also performed well.
After the match, Lim said, “Today, I was lucky from the start, and I felt like I was getting into a groove, so I thought I had a good result. Still, there were some complacent plays when I was ahead, where I got caught one or two times, and I need to be careful about that. Even if you’re ahead, you need to make sure you’re going to win and finish the match quickly when you can,” she said after the victory.
It was Lim’s birthday today. On her birthday, her fans showed even more support than usual.
“I thought it would be nice to win on my birthday, but I was also worried that I was spending my birthday for nothing. But I feel like the heavens helped me a little bit, so I feel good. I feel like I’m having a happy birthday by winning and being honored,” she smiled.
During the second set, Lim was hit in the face by an opponent’s spike while blocking, and the ball went into Samsung Fire’s court for a lucky point.
Also, at 10-6 in the second set, a powerful spike serve hit the back of Samsung Fire’s Eddie, who was trying to avoid it, and a point was awarded. Overall, it was a game of luck.
“I was hit in the forehead by a ball and felt my skull shake for a moment. After taking a break, I was fine,” he said, “I felt like the heavens were helping me today. I wondered if it was congratulating me on my birthday.”
Lim has many fond memories of January. Last year, on January 10, when the KEPCO snapped a nine-game losing streak against the Woori Card, Lim scored 16 points and was a key contributor to the team’s victory. “I had a good game on my birthday,” he said at the time.
“It was really hard during the nine-game losing streak, and everyone was struggling a lot, and they were very eager,” said Lim, who also performed well on her birthday this year. “I hope that the energy of my birthday is not the same as last year and this year. I will look forward to it next year.”
On the day, she missed the triple crown (at least three back attacks, blocks, and service aces) by one block. During the match, there were cheers from the stands that said, “Lim needs one more block!”
“It’s not easy to win the Triple Crown, so I feel like I have to do it when I have the chance. My other brothers are also telling me to catch it because there is one block left, but even if I want to catch it, I can’t if I don’t have the chance,” she regretted, adding, “I enjoyed the game because we were still winning.”
After a rough start to the season, KEPCO has joined the mid-table battle.
“At the beginning of the season, everything was not going well. “We had a lot of irritation, complaints, and so-called blame,” he said, “but that didn’t help us on the court. We had meetings and tried to understand each other and help each other. Volleyball is a team sport, you can’t do it alone. That’s the direction we took and we still talk a lot. I think we play better when we are less frustrated on the court and have fewer complaints. We have to work on it until the end of the season,” she said, adding that organization is a top priority.
Lim has been receiving the majority of her opponent’s serves since last season, when she really started to come into her own. His reception percentage on the day was a whopping 53.3%. However, he also had a 54.17% receiving efficiency, which helped him overcome the serve attack.
“When I train, I try to receive the serve as much as possible. I’m getting better at it. I’m gaining confidence as I go. I’m still not good enough, but I’m working on it until the end. I feel like I can’t relax at any time. Receiving is something that will follow me until I retire.”