On the 4th, Katarina was expelled, and V-League career player Cat Bell was recruited, and scheduled to play in the KGC match on the 6th
On the 4th, the Korea Expressway Corporation Hi-Pass team announced on its official SNS that it had recruited American apologetic striker Catherine Bell (Cat Bell), who was active in Galatasaray of the Turkiye League, as a new foreign player to replace Katarina Jovic. In the April 2022 foreign player draft, Katarina, who was wearing a road construction uniform as the 5th overall, ranked 6th in scoring (350 points) and 8th in attack success rate (35.92%) in 18 games in the first half, but could not play with the road construction in the second half. I left the V-League.
Cat Bell, who newly joined the road construction from the second half, is already a familiar name and face to volleyball fans. This is because in the 2015-2016 season, she played for GS Caltex KIXX, and in the 2021-2022 season, Heungkuk Life Insurance Pink Spiders. Cat Bell, who had never experienced spring volleyball in the V-League because her team was in the lower ranks during her time at GS Caltex and Heungkuk Life Insurance, plans to go for spring volleyball and beyond this season with road construction.
Katarina’s skill fell short of expectations
The road construction took 70 points with a total of 24 wins and 8 losses in 32 games until the season ended early due to Corona 19 last season. It was the best result in three seasons after the 2018-2019 season when they were runners-up in the championship. It was a pleasant twist that overturned the expectation of volleyball fans that it would be difficult to achieve good results for a while as the average age of the team gradually increased.
The secret to the road construction’s good performance last season was the great success of Kelsey Payne (Sigortha Shop), a foreign player who ranked second in scoring (775 points) and third in attack success rate (42.19%). At the end of the 2020-2021 season, Valentina Diouf (Busto Arsicio), Meretta Lutz (MEGABOX), and Anna Lazareva (Fenerbahce SK) left for overseas leagues and were the only ones to renew contracts with Korea Expressway Corporation. Han Kelsey was active as the league’s top foreign player last season.
However, after last season, even Kelsey left for the Turkish league, and the Korea Expressway Corporation designated Katarina as the 5th overall pick in the foreign player draft. However, Katarina’s skills did not live up to the expectations of manager Kim Jong-min and fans of Korea Expressway Corporation. Katarina did not possess outstanding athletic ability and power like Yasmin Bedart (Hyundai E&C) or Letizia Momar Basoko (GS Caltex), nor did she possess overwhelming physical strength like Yelena Mrazenovic (Heungkuk Life Insurance).
The most serious problem was the unstable rear attack ability. Kararina ranked 8th in the back attack category with a low success rate of 27.66% in 18 games in the first half. Above all, the rearguard attack was not Katarina’s main attacking option in the first place, as the rearguard attack stayed only 47 times throughout the first half. Elisabeth Ine Barga (KGC Ginseng Corporation, 383 times), who attempted the most back attack in the league in the first half, attempted a rear attack that was only 12%.
Excluding some players such as Hwang Yeon-joo (Hyundai E&C), in the V-League, where there are not many attempts by domestic players to attack the back, foreign players’ back attacks are a ‘required option’. However, Katarina is not a player who contributes to the team by participating in sub-receives like Dali Santana (receive share 26.46%) of IBK Industrial Bank Altos (receive share 0.93%). In the end, the road construction company chose to say goodbye to Katarina, who was not very helpful to the team in the air defense before it was too late.
Expectations for ‘V-League Career’ Cat Bell
Cat Bell already has experience playing in the V-League the past two times. In the 2015-2016 season, while playing for GS Caltex, he went back and forth as a middle blocker and an apogee spiker, and scored 4th in points (607 points) and 3rd in attack success rate (37.59%). In the 2021-2022 season, he played in 33 games wearing the Heungkuk Life Insurance uniform and ranked 3rd in scoring (773 points) and 7th in attack success rate (36.52%). In particular, last season, he attempted an overwhelming number of attacks in the league (1936 times) and led Heungkuk Life without Kim Yeon-kyung.
Just as she scored 773 points in the previous season, Cat Bell’s offense and stamina have already been verified in the V-League. Besides, Cat Bell tried 432 times from behind last season, so you don’t have to worry too much about his offensive options. As in last season, it is most ideal to continue to play an active role as an apposite spiker in the road construction, but the fact that the team can act as a middle blocker if the situation is not favorable is also a great advantage of Cat Bell.
In the 2018-2019 season, the Korea Expressway Corporation replaced Ivana Nesovich, who could not play due to a shoulder injury in the 2018-2019 season. At the time, the road construction had a good memory of winning the runner-up in the championship, riding an upward trend after joining Duke. Of course, Cat Bell from the U.S. and Duke from Senegal are of different nationalities, but they have one thing in common: ‘A positive athlete who played an active role at GS Caltex’. 스포츠토토
After leaving Heungkuk Life Insurance last season, Cat Bell has been constantly playing actual games in the Puerto Rico League and the Turkish League, so there is no need to worry too much about the lack of real sense like Santana last season. Also, 29 years old is not a big problem as Cat Bell and his same age Moma are active as top foreign players in the V-League for the second season. The Korea Expressway Corporation also announced that it would put Cat Bell in the first game of the 4th round against Ginseng Corporation on the 6th.
Highway Corporation, which had been promoting 7 wins and 5 losses until the 2nd round, slowed down to 2 wins and 4 losses in the 3rd round, including 3 consecutive losses. In particular, on December 31st, it became the first win of the season for Pepper Savings Bank AI Peppers. Therefore, if the road construction fails to turn the atmosphere around in the 4th round, you may have a great difficulty in the mid-level ranking fight where the four teams are engaged in a biting and biting battle. This is why the Korea Expressway Corporation put a new foreign player, Cat Bell, in the foreground as a ‘hidden card’ for the winner of the 4th round.