Lavarini to lead Korea's women in 2019 VNL and Olympic qualifiers


Seoul, Korea, March 13, 2019 - The appointment of Italy's Stefano Lavarini as head coach of Korea's women's national team ahead of their participation in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League has been officially announced by the country's volleyball federation.

After several years coaching club teams in Italy, including most recently Bergamo for five seasons, Lavarini moved to Brazil, where he has led Minas Tenis Clube of Belo Horizonte to two South American Club Championship titles. He will now move to Korea after the club season is over in Brazil.

In addition to their VNL obligations this year, Korea are also eyeing a berth in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games through the Intercontinental Olympic Qualification Tournament, where they play in Kaliningrad 2-4 August against hosts Russia, Canada and Mexico for one ticket to the Olympics.

Stefano Lavarini takes notes while watching a match of the Korean V-League, ahead of taking charge of the country's women's national team.

The 40-year-old coach visited Korea earlier this month and had the opportunity to watch players in three games of the Korean V-League while mapping out the best composition for the national team to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. "Undoubtedly the main goal of my work will be to succeed in qualifying for the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020. I would also like to help give a more international face to Korean volleyball," said Lavarini.

If they fail in Kaliningrad, Korea would get another chance at the Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament in January, which follows other obligations such as the Asian Championship and the FIVB Volleyball World Cup.

Korea ranked 12th amongst 16 participants in last year's inaugural VNL, finishing pool play on a 5-10 record. Later last year Korea were 17th amongst 24 entrants in the FIVB World Championship.

Lavarini's contract with the Korea Volleyball Association is through to the Olympic qualifiers, but will be extended to include the actual Games, should Korea qualify.

"I feel very honoured to represent such an important nation in the world volleyball scene," added Lavarini upon his appointment. "I feel excited and I cannot wait to test myself in the context of international competitions and am also very curious to know a culture so interesting and different from mine, both from a socio-cultural point of view and from a professional point of view. I am grateful to KVA for giving me this opportunity for great human and professional growth."

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