Wipawi’s shoulder is recognized even within the Thai national team.”

Manager Kang Seong-hyung, who leads Hyundai Engineering & Construction, finally smiled brightly after shaking off bad luck in the 2023-24 season.

In the 2021-22 season, which was his first season in office, the postseason was not held in the women’s division due to COVID-19, even though he ranked first in the regular league with overwhelming power. His name was only listed as ‘No. 1 in the regular league’, not ‘Winner’. They were doing well in the 2022-23 season, but due to bad luck such as injuries, their ranking fell, and they were eventually blocked by the Korea Expressway Corporation in the playoffs and did not advance to the championship game.

Of course, the 2023-24 season was not an easy season. ‘Volleyball Empress’ Kim Yeon-kyung held a fierce battle for rankings with Heungkuk Life Insurance until the final game of the season. They secured first place with a 3-1 win in the Pepper Savings Bank match, the last game of the women’s regular league. In the championship game, they faced Heungkuk Life Insurance, and the series record was 3-0, without a single loss, and they succeeded in winning the overall championship for the first time in 13 years since the 2010-11 season and becoming champions for the first time in eight years since the 2015-16 season.

Many people did their part. Yang Hyo-jin’s presence remained, and Kim Da-in, Jeong Ji-yoon, and Da-hyeon Lee showed good performances, called the future of Hyundai Engineering & Construction. Letizia Moma Basoko (registered name Moma), who came after playing for two seasons at GS Caltex, also sparked fire in the attack, including being named the MVP of the championship game.

And this player’s performance cannot be left out. This is Wipawi Sitong (registered name Wipawi), the outside hitter of the Thai national team. He joined Hyundai Engineering & Construction as the first member outside the Asia quota and showed a stable performance. When Jeong Ji-yoon and Go Ye-rim had difficulty playing due to injuries early in the season, they guarded Hyundai Engineering & Construction’s outside heater line along with Kim Joo-hyang (GS Caltex) and Go Min-ji.

He appeared in 32 games and recorded 292 points, an attack success rate of 37.77%, and a receiving efficiency of 38.92%. Ranked 6th in receiving and 7th in time difference attack. In the three championship games, he scored 31 points, with an attack success rate of 37.66% and a receiving efficiency of 30.38%. There was a difficult time during the season due to the death of his father, and there were days when he was absent due to a shoulder injury. However, in the end, he did not waver and added strength to the team’s overall victory, completing a successful debut season in Korea.

The 2024 Korea Volleyball Federation (KOVO) Women’s Asia Quarter Tryout & Draft was held from April 29 to May 1. Hyundai Engineering & Construction chose to renew its contract with Wipawi. The only players outside the Asia Quarter who have renewed their contracts are Cheongkwanjang Redsparks Megawatti Puttywi (registered name Mega) and Wippawi.

There were good players, including China’s 197cm middle blocker Jang Wi, but Hyundai Engineering & Construction chose to renew the contract with Wipawi.

Director Kang Seong-hyung said, “Wipawi played his role well. “He matches well with the colors of our players,” he said, explaining the reason for renewing his contract.

He is a player who can fulfill his role well, but that does not mean there are no worries. The skills of the Chinese players participating in the Asia Quarter stand out, and more than anything, they are not free from the aftereffects of the shoulder injury they suffered from last season.

Coach Kang said, “Tall Chinese players came from the Asia Quarter and they were just as powerful. “We have renewed our contract, but we also have to look further afield,” he said. “Wippawi got injured when he came to Korea, but there were also injuries on the Thai national team. “He is also aware and managing it in Thailand.”

He continued, “Once he joins the team training, he will be rehabilitated. However, judging from the championship match, the situation will not be bad. Of course, they said I would have to have surgery someday. “For now, we plan to manage it through injection treatment,” he added.

Regarding the contract renewal with MoMA, he said, “MoMA is looking at it positively.”

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