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Karasuno vs Nekoma was a series of practice matches held between the two schools shortly before Miyagi's Interhigh Preliminaries. The match was held as a reunion between the two schools since the teams have not played in five years. A total of three matches were held, with all three ending in Nekoma's victory in straight sets.

Match[]

Set 1[]

Before the beginning of the first set, Inuoka from Nekoma realizes Hinata is playing as a middle blocker despite that he's short, to which Hinata tells him to not look down on him, while Inuoka claims he's not.

The set begins with Kenma's serve, Asahi receives but it's not clean. Kageyama and Hinata then perform their super quick and score the first point, shocking all the Nekoma players. In the next play, Kenma sets to Yamamoto, who spikes, but Nishinoya receives it. Hinata runs for another quick, and Inuoka prepares to block, but Kageyama actually sets to Asahi, who scores when Yaku fails to receive his spike.

Nishinoya rotates out for Tsukishima. He then comments on how Yaku just saw Asahi's spike for the first time but was still able to get a hand on it. He then rotates back to the back row as Hinata misses a serve.

Tanaka spikes past Yamamoto, and Hinata performs the quick a few more times. The score is 12-9, Karasuno's favor and Nekomata calls for a timeout. Kenma then explains that Hinata is the main attack force right now for Karasuno and that if they manage to stop him, they can turn the game around. He comes up with a strategy to cover one area of the court, causing Hinata to go to the area without any blockers.

Inuoka still fails a few times to catch up with the quick, but he is soon able to get a hand on it. Hinata thinks about where Kenma will send the ball, only for him to perform a setter dump. Nekoma continues this strategy, and eventually catches up 18-18. Nekoma eventually takes the lead and earns set point 24-22. Hinata tells Kageyama to give him the next set and that he'll make it count. Kageyama expresses his worry as one mistake will end the set, but Hinata says he's aware and he'll make it count.

Hinata goes up to spike, but this time, Inuoka is able to catch up to him and completely shuts down the quick, winning the set for Nekoma 25-22.

Set 2[]

Inuoka continues to shut down the attack. The score is 3-1, Nekoma's favor. Hinata attempts running to the left to spike, but Inuoka does not fall for it and still manages to catch up and block him. Nekomata comments on how the more Hinata hits the powerful wall, the more he fails. To everyone's shock, Hinata starts smiling. Hinata talks about how he's always hated being blocked, but this time around, he gets excited whenever he sees Inuoka run after him.

In the next play, Hinata keeps his eyes open and decides to aim where he's going to hit. The ball goes too fast, however, and Hinata fails to hit it. Ukai then calls a timeout. He tells Kageyama to send balls for normal quicks now. He tries to do so, but each time, Hinata fails to hit the ball, and Nekoma gains a 5-point lead at 10-5. Hinata is told to calm down, and Asahi and Tanaka comment that Hinata's decoy tactics still work and that they'll score all the points to catch up.

Ukai recalls when his Grandpa talked about the Tiny Giant. He also talked about how whenever the former ace was not able to overcome opposing blockers, he would spike off the blocker's hands. Hinata then attempts to spike across the court. Yaku fails to receive it, but the ball lands out and gives Nekoma a point. Inuoka then praises Hinata for being able to do that.

Hinata and Kageyama continue to attempt a normal quick, but they fail every time. However, this time, Daichi is able to receive the ball, but it goes to Nekoma's side. Kenma sends the ball to Yamamoto. Hinata, Tanaka, and Daichi jump and manage to stop him, but Kai receives the ball. Yamamoto goes to spike again. He yells that despite some people saying that Nekoma lacks offensive power, he is still the ace. He spikes right past the block and scores.

Kenma serves and aims towards Hinata. The way the ball moves confuses Hinata on whether he should use an overhand or underhand pass. He is unable to decide and the ball instead hits his chest. Nishinoya sends the ball to Tanaka, who spikes off Yamamoto and Inuoka and scores. He and Nishinoya chant, which angers Yamamoto.

Tanaka then serves. Hinata sees Kai run-up for a quick but remembers Daichi telling him to keep his eyes open at all times. He then notices Inuoka run towards the right and attempt a broad jump. Hinata catches up and gets a one-touch. Hinata once again tries to perform the quick, but he is only able to glance the ball, which barely lands on Nekoma's side, and gives Karasuno a breakpoint at 17-15. Yamamoto scores again.

Inuoka is up to serve and Kuroo rotates to the front. Hinata comments that Inuoka is a bit annoying, but Kuroo scares him even more. Kuroo then comments to Hinata on how Inuoka is about 20 cm taller than him, but he's still able to give him a run for his money. He also calls Hinata "Shrimpy" which angers him. Kageyama tells him that since Kuroo is taller and probably more dangerous, that they're going to do the super quick next. Hinata questions if they have to as he just started getting used to the normal one, but Kageyama says no as they need to counter Kuroo so he doesn't go on a scoring spree.

After Nishinoya receives Inuoka's serve, Hinata and Kageyama use the super quick and score. The score is 18-16, Nekoma's favor, and Inuoka is rotated out. Kuroo also apologizes for not being able to stop the quick.

Nekoma manages to get the points back though. Yamamoto, Kuroo, and Kai all run up to spike. Karasuno guesses they will probably give the ball to Yamamoto, but to their surprise, Fukunaga comes up from the back. Asahi then comments on how they used three spikers as just decoys. Fukunaga spikes a back attack and it hits Hinata in the face. The ball goes to Nekoma's side and Kuroo receives it. Nekoma does the same attack again. This time, Kuroo gets the ball and he scores with a quick. During the next play, Kuroo goes to spike again, but he stops for a second, while Karasuno's blockers are once again tricked and jump. Kuroo then spikes untouched.

Kuroo goes to high-five Kenma, and it flashes back to a scene when Kuroo and Kenma were both kids, and Kuroo attempted the same attack. When Kenma questions what he just did, Kuroo replies that he saw the attack done on TV the previous day, while Kenma tells him to stop copying everything he sees on TV. But Kuroo declares that they will keep practicing and will eventually perfect the attack (This scene was cut from the anime and was only shown in an OVA). In present day, he and Kenma high-five.

Ukai and Takeda become worried as the lead just got way bigger and that Nekoma is now at 20 points. Ukai then yells at his team that their attacks may be sloppy, but they still need to keep attacking Nekoma with everything they got. Several plays are shown, including Inuoka being blocked by Tsukishima. Sugawara and Yamaguchi praise him for his block. The score is 22-20, still Nekoma's favor. Nekomata calls a timeout and asks if his team is getting scared yet, to which they comment "No" in unison.

Both teams continue scoring. Hinata glances at the ball again, barely getting it over, but still scores.

Karasuno is now down by only one point at 23-22. Hinata and Tanaka prepare to block, but Kenma performs another setter dump and Nekoma is now at match point 24-22, while Takeda freaks out. Karasuno does not give up just yet. Hinata and Tanaka run-up to spike, but Daichi gets the ball and spikes a straight, making the score 24-23.

Kiyoko comments that they need one more point, and it's a deuce. During the next play, Asahi spikes, but Yaku receives it. The ball however goes back to Karasuno's side. Ukai then yells at Asahi to hit a direct spike, which he does, but Fukunaga receives it. The ball once again goes to Karasuno's side. Kageyama notices Hinata going up to spike, and he sends the ball to him. He spikes past Inuoka, and Yaku receives it, but the ball drives into the net. Takeda then yells that they finally have a chance to catch up.

Kai fails to receive and the ball is going towards the ground. Nekomata comments on how it doesn't matter how strong you are, and that the person loses is the one who lets the ball touch the ground first. Kenma receives the ball and it goes towards the back of Karasuno's side, which is wide open. Nishinoya and Hinata attempt to go after the ball, but they fail to get to it, and it lands in.

The set ends 25-23 and Nekoma wins the match in straight sets.

Aftermath[]

Ukai comments that Karasuno didn't make many mistakes but was still unable to win.

Hinata then calls out that he wants to play another game, to which Nekomata agrees, stating it wouldn't be a practice game without a rematch. In the end, Karasuno loses the next two matches, both in straight sets.

Nekomata then reminds Karasuno that today's matches were just practice, and that they will soon play a real game at the Summer Interhigh Tournament, and that both teams must play their part in winning through their Prefecture's Preliminaries.

Before leaving, Kuroo and Daichi laugh and shake hands aggressively, both stating that they will win the next time they play. Yaku and Sugawara then comment that they're being weird, but Ukai and Naoi do the same thing. Hinata asks Kenma if he enjoyed winning today, and Kenma replies that it was just okay. But Hinata declares that one day, he'll play a game against him and make him play so hard, that he'll have no choice but to say: "That was fun." Kenma then says that he looks forward to it.

While Karasuno heads home, Kageyama comments on how if the game was an official match, it would've been over for them. Ukai then replies that they have real games coming up soon, as the Interhigh Preliminaries start in less than a month, and that if they want to face Nekoma again, they have to make sure they don't lose in the upcoming tournament.

Trivia[]

  • This was the first time Nekoma and Karasuno have played each other in five years.
  • Both teams planned on facing each other in the Interhigh Nationals.
    • However, both lost in their prefecture's Interhigh Prelims.
  • This was the first match where Hinata's quick was stopped.
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