The confidence of Tarumi Yuga, who almost calmed down the university match, was great. I was impressed with her spirited response, saying that it only takes time to adapt to the professional stage.

The Panasonic Panthers of the Japanese V.League, which participated as an invited team in the 2023 Gumi-Dodram Cup Professional Volleyball Tournament, 토토 are lined with star players. Japanese national middle blocker Akihiro Yamauchi is playing as the team’s captain, and Apositit Nishida Yuji, who represents Japanese volleyball, also recently joined the team. However, these players did not participate in this competition. Among the players who participated in the tournament, the most recognizable player is Kunihiro Shimizu, a veteran who played for the national team apogee in the past.

However, head coach Laurent Tilly announced that Shimizu will not play due to knee pain ahead of the final group stage match against Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance held at the Park Chung-hee Gymnasium in Gumi on the 11th. Instead, outside hitter Takahiko Imamura took his place. And in the place where Imamura used to be, promising Yuga Tarumi received his first starter opportunity.

Tarumi, who got an opportunity due to the butterfly effect of Shimizu’s departure, made good use of the opportunity. He broke in 19 points, the most points in the team, along with Imamura. Tarumi, who visited the interview room after the game, said, “It was a long time since I joined the team and played, so I was a little numb in the beginning. He seems to have regained his senses with the help of the players around him. In particular, the 3rd set was a bit difficult, but I am glad I overcame it and won.”

While preparing for this game, I wondered if he would have felt pressured to make sure that the vacancy of Shimizu, a veteran and star player, would not be felt. Tarumi said, “Since advances to the semifinals were already decided, there was no great pressure. However, the part where the participating players were changed was not a positive factor for the team, so I tried to do my best so that there would be no problem even if I entered,” he said with a calm expression.

I was also curious about the difference between Korean volleyball and Japanese volleyball that Tarumi personally experienced. Tarumi said, “First of all, in Korean volleyball, receiving is generally good. Of course, receiving is also good in Japan. I don’t feel a big difference in the steps when attacking or blocking. The biggest difference is the speed of the pass, but I don’t feel that Japan is faster and Korea is slower. It’s just that there is a difference in speed.”

Tarumi is a player who has accumulated considerable performance during his college days. He was selected as the best server in the 2019-2020 All Japan University Exchange Match, and in the 2022-2023 tournament, he swept individual awards in almost all categories, including MVP, Best Spiker, Best Scorer and Best Receiver. It is an achievement worthy of being called a superstar of the university exchange competition.

However, coach Tilly said in an interview after the match, “Tarumi has not yet fully adapted to our team’s simple system. So there were parts where I couldn’t show my skills.” I wondered how much of a gap Tarumi himself felt between amateurs and professionals. When asked about this, Tarumi said, “It wasn’t long before I joined Panasonic, and there were injuries in the meantime. It was also the first match to play a full set. Adaptation to the system will be possible naturally over time,” he said confidently, saying that all he needed was time.

He did not feel any pressure to fill the vacancy of a veteran, and considerable confidence radiated from Tarumi, who said that adapting to the professional stage would not be too difficult. Judging by the quality of his game, his confidence seems well-founded.

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