"Ace's Pride" (Japanese: エースの
Because of the immense pressure building upon the team caused by the collision between Asahi and Hinata earlier, Karasuno is becoming hesitant about their movements, resulting into unwanted mistakes. Thanks to Asahi, he manage to hold it together and is able to lift the tension between the team with his strong will. Meanwhile, Yamaguchi wonders about something..
Daichi and Asahi come to the realization that Tsukishima possibly has an older brother who played on the volleyball team with the Little Giant, though Tanaka in unsure of this and believes that it could possibly be someone else entirely who just has the same last name. Sugawara informs them that the matches are starting again and their conversation is ended.
After the run, Tsukishima and Tadashi take a water break with Asahi. Tsukishima asks Asahi if he is nervous about the ever present possibility of being overshadowed by Hinata who still wishes to become the ace. Asahi admits that he is nervous at the thought but has decided to use that as a way to further motivate himself and improve his abilities; not wanting to lose to Hinata.
In a game against Ubugawa, Kageyama calls out Tsukishima for not following through in being a decoy though Tsukishima does not seem to take the threat seriously. Ukai notices Tsukishima's lack of effort and admits to Takeda that he is not sure he can keep him as a starting regular despite being the tallest player on the team.
At that moment, Daichi and Nishinoya run into each other trying to receive a ball. No harm is done but Yachi notices how everyone seems to be taking the game more seriously than ever. Kiyoko believes that the players have a higher drive in them since their last camp in Tokyo but if they are not careful than injuries could happen.
Asahi is eventually given the last hit but it is sent short. Hinata appears to want to go after it but freezes when he feels the ace give off the aura that he will be the one to get the set. Asahi spikes past the Ubugawa blockers and reaffirms his place as the ace.
After their last penalty run, the players are heading back to the gym for free practice when Sugawara notices that Tsukishima has not changed since they first arrived. Tanaka expresses how he thinks Tsukishima could be capable of a lot more if he were to give the effort.
In the gym, Hinata overhears Bokuto invite Tsukishima to practice blocking his spikes but Tsukishima turns him down. Hinata questions why Tsukishima would waste such a valuable chance but Tsukishima brushes him off while claiming that he does not possess the same stamina as his fellow middle blocker. Hinata complains to Tadashi about Tsukishima wasting the chance to practice with Bokuto when Tadashi suddenly asks him what he would say to Tsukishima as this moment.
Hinata answers that he wouldn't say anything as he is not sure if Tsukishima even likes volleyball and sees no point in saying 'let's play' to someone who doesn't want to. Tadashi believes that Tsukishima does like volleyball otherwise he would not be playing. Hinata then surprises Tadashi by asking what he would say to Tsukishima.
Later in the bathroom, Tadashi remembers a moment during grade school when he had been picked on by bullies for being scrawny and being forced to carry their bags. As he is being teased, Tsukishima appeared and called them pathetic. One of the bullies attempted to fight Tsukishima but quickly ran off at seeing how much bigger Tsukishima is.
Though he wasn't sure if he had been included in Tsukishima's insult, Tadashi remembers how cool Tsukishima had been in the face of the bullies and had the desire to be as cool as him one day. Remembering his conversation with Hinata, Tadashi makes his decision.
- Akiteru Tsukishima (mentioned only)
- Small Giant (mentioned only)
- Kōtarō Bokuto
- Keiji Akaashi
- Masaki Gōra
- Daiki Ogano
- Shinzen High boys’ volleyball team members
- Ubugawa High boys’ volleyball team members
- Fukurodani Academy volleyball team members
- Ryūnosuke Tanaka
- Kōshi Sugawara
- Daichi Sawamura
- Asahi Azumane
- Hitoka Yachi
- Keishin Ukai
- Tetsurō Kuroo
- Kazuhito Narita
- Tadashi Yamaguchi
- Tobio Kageyama
- Shōyō Hinata
- Yū Nishinoya
- Taketora Yamamoto
- Kenma Kozume
- Lev Haiba
- Kei Tsukishima
- Ittetsu Takeda
- Kiyoko Shimizu
- Yasufumi Nekomata
- Yamaguchi was bullied for being scrawny and having pimples when he was younger.