Dankook University’s (DKU) female volleyball team won the Korean University Volleyball Championship and they did so with only seven players on the roster. Most volleyball teams boast large squads, but DKU has only the minimum required to field a team. This means, unlike their competitors, DKU women’s volleyball won this prestigious championship with no substitute players. To hear more about their extraordinary victory, the Dankook Herald (DKH) interviewed players from the team.
|▲ DKU's female volleyball team|
Q. How do you feel about winning the Korean University Volleyball Competition?
A. We are all very happy. The championship means so much because we did not have a lot of players, but we worked it out by being a solid team, all of us aiming for one single objective. We won all 2 divisions, Jecheon and Haenam, and this has never happened before in our history. Moreover, we never lost a match throughout the competition.
Q. During the competition, what was the most unforgettable moment?
A. You may think it was the moment we won the title, but the moment that I will never forget is when the whole team was awarded individual prizes. For some of the players, it was their first time receiving an award, so it was a remarkable moment. Being recognized individually, made our players feel like they had proved themselves as solid athletes during the competition.
Q. How did you overcome the disadvantage of your lack of players?
A. The most important thing we did was put extra care into our training and not get injured, because we did not have any back up players. We tried really hard to stay healthy and to build strong enough muscles to endure the whole game without substitution. We tried to take care of each other too, helping any teammate that might have been having trouble with their health. Since all of our players had to play from the beginning till the end of the competition, our team spent a lot of time on weight training for enhancing muscular strength.
Q. Do you remember any crisis that you faced during the games?
A. We struggled against Woosuk University. Before this match we had never ceded a point to our opposition, but we lost a set to them. This made us nervous because we broke the good vibe we had coming from our consecutive victories. Nevertheless, the lost set stimulated our urge to win and we made up to the lost set by winning the match.
Q. There is ‘C-zero Rule’ which forces you to be focused on both studying and sports. Was this a burden to you as athletes?
A. The ‘C-zero Rule’ states that college sport players can’t compete if they have a C-zero average. However, it had no impact on us, because all of our players are enrolled in DKU as undergraduates of the Department of Physical Education and we have to study hard just like any other university student even without the ‘C-zero’ rule. Although, it was very difficult to study and practice volleyball at the same time, and it was harder during the examination period, because there was no exception from training, we still managed to exercise like we always do and add exam prep to our daily routines.
Q. what are your team plans for the future?
A. We will compete in the national sports festival and we are hoping for the same results there. The national sports festival is very different from the university volleyball competition. It is a nation-wide festival, which means company teams can compete against us. Company teams are professional and as a result, they are well drilled. Therefore, we have to concentrate more on training and managing our health. Fortunately, our team’s atmosphere is really good right now, owing to the championship title. Moreover, our coach and players have a good feeling about this festival, too. We presume if our organizing camp is good, the title will be ours. For the last games of 2017, the national sports festival, we will do our best training.
Q Do you want to say anything to Dankookians?
A. We want more support from DKU and its students. We would like to see more Dankookians paying attention to the volleyball program and our games. There is also a lack of support from the university too, despite the fact that we are already showing good results. For example, our gym has a water leak problem, so we can’t practice on rainy days. Also we don’t have any comfortable resting place after training, so we have to rest in the storage area of the gym. Of course, volleyball is an unpopular sport on campus, but popularity is connected with monetary rewards and support for players. For volleyball’s development, we hope to get more support and attention for our players.
In spite of the adversity they face, DKU’s female volleyball team is preparing for another challenge, winning the national sports festival. They are running on a tight schedule, so the support of Dankookians would be a great boost for the players. The next game will be held on October 21, as part of the national sports festival. Please check out the awesome play of these seven young women. You won’t be disappointed in the skills of our DKU female volleyball team.
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