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The ace is the one who makes off with the most points. It's as simple as that.

Lev Haiba (Japanese: 灰羽 (はいば) リエーフ Haiba Riēfu) is a 1st year student from Nekoma High. He is one of the team's middle blockers and is the self-declared ace for the team.

AppearanceEdit

Lev is very tall, with exceptionally long arms and legs. He has neatly parted light grey hair, and catlike slanted green eyes framed with thin eyebrows.

His half-Russian heritage gives him tall height, exceptional limb length, and physical ability.

PersonalityEdit

He is shown to be quite childish and cheerful, as displayed by making fun of and pointing out Hinata's and Yaku's height along with the contrast they hold to him and other players. Lev's appearance, as well as his piercing eyes, causes people to believe he is much more intimidating and serious than he actually is. Though he can be extremely blunt, often offending others without realizing, he never seems to mean any real harm and adopts a playful attitude towards most things.

He is also shown to be enthusiastic about spiking as he gets excited about it very easily, and can be competitive with people he is interested in. He can be quite confident (nearing haughty) as well, as shown in Chapter 199, looking down at Nohebi when he managed to smash down their receive.

Background Edit

Lev is a half-Japanese, half-Russian first-year. He was born and raised in Japan and consequently cannot speak Russian. He is first introduced in chapter 78 of the Haikyū!! manga and the first OVA episode, shown at Jump Festa 2014. He attends Nekoma High, and is a Middle Blocker and self-proclaimed ace on the Nekoma High Volleyball Team.

PlotEdit

Tokyo Expedition ArcEdit

Karasuno meets Lev Haiba during the first round of away-games. He was not present at the practice match between Nekoma and Karasuno, due to his lack of experience. Kōshi Sugawara and Asahi Azumane ponder if the first-year that was staring at them was present at the practice game. It is during a match that Lev demonstrates his whip-like spike, astounding the members of Karasuno.

Lev and Shōyō Hinata run into each other in the bathroom entrance. Hinata is intimidated by Lev's height and heritage, and he surprised to find that Lev cannot speak Russian. Lev teases Hinata on his height, and Hinata becomes offended. Lev then compliments on Hinata's jump, but says that he can jump higher, prompting Hinata to jump up and hit his head on the top of the door frame. They part ways, swearing that they will defeat each other.

During the practice match between Nekoma and Karasuno, Lev misses blocking Hinata's quick attack on the first try but is successful in blocking the second one. Lev continues to demonstrate his blocking when he is able to get a one-touch on Asahi's spike after remembering to use read blocking when Hinata nearly lures him into blocking early. He lands a spike that puts Nekoma in the lead.

Lev is present to say good-bye to Hinata and Karasuno when they depart.

Spring High Preliminary ArcEdit

Nekoma vs. Fukurōdani

Before playing in the game, Lev watches the first few sets with the rest of the Nekoma team. During the first set, he misses several blocks. When he is rotated back in during the later half of the set, he misses a direct spike that gives Fukurōdani a point. During the first Nekoma time-out, Kenma is put in charge of directing Lev and does not hold back on scolding Lev of continuing to make mistakes of things he has been repeatedly told to correct. Lev becomes frightened by Kenma's anger and becomes shocked when Kenma states that he is not as good a player as Hinata.

When the game continues, Lev is given a set while reminding himself of Kenma's warning not to lower his elbows. He manages to hit the ball at an incredible height but Washio managed to get a one-touch on it that Konoha sends back to Nekoma's side and scores. Konoha takes the chance to mock Lev and Kenma on not being able to truly work together. Lev eventually lands a powerful spike when he remembers how Kenma said Hinata was a better player than him. When Fukurōdani reaches set point, Lev sends his serve directly into the net and Fukurōdani wins the first set.

During the second set, Lev is at the net when Akaashi and Fukurōdani carry out their plan to get Bokuto back into shape after he forgets how to his cross shots and is baited into blocking early when Akaashi looks to attempt a setter dump.

Nekoma vs. Nohebi

Upset by his performance during the match against Fukurōdani, Lev is determined to redeem himself during the match against Nohebi. His first attempt at blocking Suguru fails when the Nohebi captain pulled off a feint right away. With Yamamoto, Lev becomes determined to get Nekoma to Nationals. As the game continues, Lev is taunted by the Nohebi players; being referred to as a sieve when it comes to blocking. Later, he manages to block Suguru but Nohebi gets the point when the ref points out Lev touched the net during the block. When a time-out is called, Lev expresses his frustration about Suguru and his behavior. This frustration continues when he is back on the court and tries to block Suguru again but blocks the wrong way. Yaku was able to tell what would happen and saved the ball. After Yamamoto scores, Yaku quickly yells at Lev for waving his arms in random directions when blocking as it makes it hard for him to receive. Lev quickly snaps back that it wouldn't matter how he blocks because Yaku is so good he would be able to save any ball; flattering Yaku in the process.

Later on, Lev is able to pull off a direct spike that Nohebi had desperately tried to keep going. He relishes in the feeling of having smashed the ball down after their attempts but his celebration ends when he sees that Yaku has been injured after having jumped the barriers to save the ball. Shibayama is placed in the game in Yaku's place and Lev tries to assure him that there is nothing to worry about as long as he is there but Kenma ridicules that statement. The game continues and Lev is eventually targeted by Suguru for not being as fierce in the back row as he is at the net but Kuroo is able to stop Suguru with a block. After Kenma does a setter dump, Sakishima attempts the same in the next rally but he is stunned when Lev was able to stop him right away. Along with Yamamoto, Lev begins charging toward the net and appears to be getting the set but he reveals to have just been covering for Kuroo to approach and be the one to get the set. With Kuroo and Kenma successfully pulling off a back attack, Nekoma has won the first set. 

In the second set, Lev is able to get a one-touch on Hiroo's spike. He right away calls for the ball as he appears to attempt a wide broad jump. His broad jump is successful and gets Nekoma ahead while Lev is silently praised by Kuroo and members of the crowd who think Lev is the real ace and not Yamamoto. In the middle of the set, Lev begins trying to read Kuguri's form but misses blocking when he believed Kuguri would attempt a cross shot and instead did a straight shot. Kenma tells Lev that trying to figure out what Kuguri will do may not be successful as Kuguri has near perfect form. Lev is not deterred by this information and believes he can stop Kuguri again.

Near the end of the set, Kuroo injuries his finger on a receive and has to switch out. Shibayama goes in and assures Lev that he is right behind him. When the game continues, Lev spikes the ball and gets Nekoma to set and match point. However, Nohebi gets the point back when Lev is unable to block Kuguri and Shibayama is unable to pick up the ball. Lev then becomes confused when Shibayama apologizes for not being able to receive the ball because he believes that, other than a serve, a lost point is not the fault of any one player because all of their plays are connected. At this, Lev finally realizes the real meaning of teamwork. Because he knows that Shibayama is the one behind him and not Yaku, Lev becomes aware of how he must play and block. When Kuguri goes to spike, Lev is able to emit a great presence that scares Kuguri into sending his spike straight to Shibayama. With this, Nekoma is able to win the game and earn their spot for Nationals.

StatisticsEdit

Original Statistics
Power
 
3/5
Jumping
 
3/5
Stamina
 
4/5
Game Sense
 
2/5
Technique
 
1/5
Speed
 
4/5

Lev is a relatively inexperienced volleyball player. As a result, his basic abilities are weaker (much like Hinata's, as Kenma had mentioned), but his strike, height, and physical ability more than make up for it. Upon joining the team, Lev quickly overtook Inuoka as the starting middle blocker and is seen as someone with huge potential[1]. Lev initially has trouble syncing with Kenma's toss but gradually improves to be a capable spiker. Overall, Lev takes a straightforward approach to spiking, looking to win and garner the most hits but shows a willingness to learn technical terms.

Lev often self-proclaims himself as Nekoma's ace, although his teammates don't seem to acknowledge this. He had trouble grasping the concept of teamwork until he and Shibayama worked together to stop a spike. Since then, he has become more calm and aware of his teammates during matches.

Jumping Reach: 345 cm

SkillsEdit

Haiba-strike

Lev's whip-like spike.

  • Whip Spike: Lev's most notable ability yet is his whip-like spike due to his long limbs[2]. Hinata, in particular, is amazed by this spike, telling Lev, "It's incredible, how your spikes made it seem like the blockers being there didn't even matter."
  • Broad Attack: Lev is proficient at doing a broad attack. Due to his huge strides, he would outpace his opponents and spike before a block could be put up[3]. He is capable of pulling off a broad attack spontaneously with Kenma.
  • Read Blocking: During the summer training camp, Lev starts improving his read blocking under Kuroo's supervision. He corrects his "banzai block" in which he places his arms too wide apart, thereby leaving a huge gap for a spike to go through. By the time Nekoma reaches the Tokyo qualifiers, Lev has already made much improvement but still has the habit of swing his arm around when attempting to block[4]. After he finally understood the importance of teamwork, Lev becomes more adept at limiting the path of the spike for the receivers[5]. Combined with his advantageous height, Lev is a blocker that can exert immense pressure on the opposing setter.


RelationshipsEdit

Shōyō HinataEdit

Lev first meets Hinata at the Fukurōdani Academy Group away-games, and the relationship between the two is both competitive and playful, as the two have similar personalities. Hinata first learns of Lev whilst watching him play, in awe
Hinata and Lev s2-e5-1
of his striking prowess and tall gait, and through Kenma as well. When Hinata meets Lev, though he is shocked at first, he quickly warms to him. Upon his mention of Hinata's height and his jumping ability not being enough to combat Lev's, Hinata jumps high enough to hit his head on the doorframe and claims he will jump higher than Lev can. This surprises Lev, and the competition between the two ignites. In general, however, the two seem to be pretty good friends, and the competition between them is rather a friendly rivalry.

Morisuke Yaku Edit

Lev and Yaku are opposites in physical traits. While Lev is a towering figure, Yaku is short, even if he doesn't like to
Lev and Yaku OVA 4-1
admit it. Lev's bluntness leads him to directly point this fact out, much to Yaku's annoyance. He makes sure to reprimand Lev for it, often physically hitting him in his anger whenever he points out his height. Yaku is also seen to have been training Lev with his receives, although Lev ditched him one time and lied to his teammates to play with Kuroo, Bokuto, Akaashi and Tsukishima, leaving Yaku enraged. Like the rest of Nekoma, Lev sees Yaku as a skilled libero and firmly believes that Yaku is capable of saving any ball. Yaku often calls Lev's hits weak as he often misses.

Kenma Kozume Edit

In the Nekoma OVA, Kenma and Lev are seen to be working together to perfect the timing of Lev's whip spike attack. It
Lev and Kenma s2-e5-1
is mentioned by Kenma that Lev's technique is almost nonexistent and that his attacks are sloppier than Hinata's, which cause Kenma to try different methods to try to sync up with the middle blocker. At first, it seems as though Kenma dislikes Lev, but this feeling eventually disappears as the two are able to attack properly later in the series.

TriviaEdit

  • Favorite food: Oinarisan
  • Current concern: His senpais try to give him weird nicknames.
  • Lev cannot speak Russian; despite being of Russian-Japanese descent, he was born and raised in Japan.
  • Just like Kenma, he doesn't like Kuroo's prematch speeches and famous quote: "We're like the blood in our veins...", and according to Kenma, that's the only thing he agrees with Lev on.
  • Lev shares a birthday with Reon Ōhira.
    • Interestingly enough, both of their names have to do with lions.
  • His star sign is Scorpio.
  • He had stated that he grew 2mm in two weeks, which averages out to 1mm per week. Thus far, he is the third tallest high school volleyball player in the series.
  • According to Shibayama, Lev has a tendancy to self-destruct if he becomes too fired up.
  • Nomenclature:
    • Lev (Лев) - Lion
    • Haiba (灰羽) - Ashen Feathers

QuotesEdit

  • "You're even shorter up close." (to Hinata, within the first few minutes of meeting him in Chapter 79)
  • "The ace is the one who makes off with the most points. It's as simple as that." (to Hinata, in Chapter 79)
  • "I'm trying to be humble by not letting everyone know that I'm the best." (to Kenma, in Chapter 82)
  • "I am the wind. I am as swift as the wind...I am the forest. I am as quiet as the forest...And...I'm flexible...as a cat!" (to himself, OVA 1)
  • "I grew two millimetres!" (to Hinata)
  • "Well, I'm not going to become just a regular - but the Ace!" (Haikyū!! OVA)
  • "The Ace has...Awoken!" (After spiking one of Kenma's tosses for the first time, Haikyū!! OVA)
  • "The usual for Nekoma... is not the same as before." (about Nekoma, in Chapter 198)
  • "A ball that the other team so desperately manages to get back up in the air... it just makes my day smashing those back down!" (Chapter 199)

ReferencesEdit

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