"An Upperclassman's Determination" (Japanese: パイセンの
Kuroo and Yaku have a flashback to when they first joined the volleyball club. Their relationship started off very badly and they would often disagree on minor things, such as girl's hairstyles and favorite foods. One day during practice, they realized that they both had the same goal to dominate nationals. This helped them to put aside their differences and become teammates who trust each other. Back in present time, Kenma gives instructions and words of encouragement to his teammates, and they continue the match. Nekoma puts pressure on Nohebi and manages to catch up resulting in the tie of 22-22.
First year Kai enters the club room and introduces himself to the other first years that are present. Kuroo and Yaku introduced themselves to one another only for Kuroo to reveal that he already knows who Yaku is due to his team having lost to Yaku's in a tournament back in middle school.
After school, Kuroo suggests the three hang out and eat in order to get to know one another better but he and Yaku right away clash on what they should eat; Kuroo wants fish while Yaku wants meat. The next day after class, Yaku is asking Kai about a girl from his class with short hair. Kai deduces that Yaku is fond of girl's with short hair. When questioned, Kuroo answers that he likes girl's with long hair. Over time, Yaku and Kuroo are shown to be opposites with most things such as whether curry is better mild or spicy, if summers are better spent swimming in the ocean or hiking in the mountains, favorite actresses and volleyballs, and even cats and dogs.
When the three are joining the Nekoma team, the team captain calls for the first years to step forward and announce their personal goal as per club tradition. In unison, Kuroo and Yaku step forward and announce their goal is to win nationals. Kai steps forward to join them while saying that his goal is the same as theirs.
Back in the present, Kenma instructs Shibayama to only rotate with Lev when the middle blocker goes to the back row and have Kuroo stay on the court at all times. Shibayama agrees, feeling that he needs to prove himself worthy of being on the court. Kuroo wishes to have his time to shine in receives but Kenma quickly dampens his attempt to look cool and starts to lay out a plan.
When they game continues, Alisa and Suguru notice that Shibayama was taken off the court. Akane explains that the libero is able to rotate in whenever they wish as long as it is not in the middle of the rally and guesses that Shibayama was left out because he is not as familiar with the team rhythm. Suguru comes to the same conclusion and encourages his team to target those who are weaker and less skilled.
Hiroo is next to serve and does a jump float. Kuroo dives and saves the ball, thus Kenma is able to set to Lev and score. As Sakishima waits to set, he feels an immense pressure coming from Kuroo. Suguru prepares to send his spike towards Lev since the first year is not as big a threat in the back row as he is when at the net. Kuroo quickly puts an end to Suguru's plan and blocks him. With this, the score is now 22-22.
Lev believes that Kenma was right in saying that they can turn things around but Kenma replies that he will need Kuroo to do much more.
- Nobuyuki Kai
- Tetsurō Kuroo
- Morisuke Yaku
- Manabu Naoi
- Kenma Kozume
- Taketora Yamamoto
- Lev Haiba
- Sō Inuoka
- Yūki Shibayama
- Yasufumi Nekomata
- Shōhei Fukunaga
- Suguru Daishō
- Alisa Haiba
- Akane Yamamoto
- Isumi Sakishima
- Akihiko Seguro
- Kōji Hiroo
- Naoyasu Kuguri
- Yoshiya Takachiho
- Kiyoshi Ōmizu
- This chapter shares the same title as Volume 30 Chapter 263 in Japanese.