"The Iron Wall" (Japanese:
The coaches from both teams give their pep talks, and the game between Karasuno and Date Tech begins. The game starts with an unstable lead, as Hinata isn't used to going against read-blocking. Blocks just can't seem to get through Date Tech's wall, especially Asahi's. Hinata and Kageyama are ready to bring back the oddball quick strike.
In order to calm Date Tech down, Oiwake tells the members that although number 10's quick was undeniably startling, it was only because of his height. Hinata's intense jump makes the normal quick so amazing, so it means that they shouldn't be taken in by appearances. He ends the talk by telling them to stop Hinata completely, just like they had stopped Karasuno's ace, Asahi.
Over with Karasuno, Sugawara and Coach Ukai summarise their thoughts and assumptions of their opponents. According to the third year, based on what he had seen, he predicts that Date Tech would use a powerful serve in the first play and that its opening pattern is all about rattling its opponents with serves and breaking their spirit with steady blocks. The coach adds that for the first play, they would have to keep their receives high and if they are able to overcome the other side's wall, then they would have a chance to win. The pep talk ends with the note to smash through the Iron Wall.
The starting order for Date Tech is Sasaya, Futakuchi, and Aone at the front, with Kamasaki, Sakunami, Obara, and Moniwa at the back. For Karasuno, the order is Hinata, Tanaka, and Kageyama at the front and Daichi, Asahi, Tsukishima, and Nishinoya at the back. A spectator comments that Karasuno is probably starting with its strongest receive-oriented formation.
With this formation, Karasuno is able to receive the strong serve and quickly get the ball to the first-year duo, but the team is shocked when Aone is able to catch up with Hinata despite the delay. Coach Ukai comments off the side that Date Tech is all about lead blocking, a technique where the blockers would observe where the toss will go so that they won't get caught up with decoys. Such a tactic would result in the blockers being delayed, but Aone is fast and large enough to close that gap in an instant.
Kageyama serves, but the libero is able to cleanly receive the ball and pass it onto his teammates. With the ball received by Nishinoya on the other side, Asahi calls for it, but is blocked by the Iron Wall when he spikes powerfully from the rear. Despite this, Asahi stays encouraged, telling Nishinoya that he will leave it to the libero to get the next one, but he is planning to score. Futakuchi tries to rile Asahi up, but with no results.
Tanaka tries for a spike but like Asahi, it was blocked. However, Aone's arm had touched the white band along the top of the net, resulting in a foul. The spectators watch on, surprised that even a fast attack cannot shake the Iron Wall. The ball is with Karasuno and Asahi goes for another spike. It results in a block out.
Karasuno has a small lead in the score, but Date Tech is keeping them on their toes. If it continues well into the set with Karasuno getting repeatedly caught by the blocks of the Iron Wall, then the flow of the game will instantly shift in Date Tech's favour. It proves them right when Hinata's spike gets blocked as well, but Kageyama does not to be too fazed about the fact.
This is because of an earlier conversation with the coach where the setter could identify that Nekoma was able to block their quick because it was getting used to Hinata's movements. Ukai adds that the key to this is their opponents' experience with the technique; whatever the team, sooner or later they'll become accustomed to the quick strike. It is a powerful weapon, but not invincible, so what is most important is when to use it.
The chapter ends with Kageyama telling Hinata to jump with all his power at his top speed, and he will definitely get the ball to him. The score thus far is at 3:2, with Karasuno in the lead.
- Daichi Sawamura
- Kōshi Sugawara
- Kenji Futakuchi
- Takanobu Aone
- Kaname Moniwa
- Keishin Ukai
- Yū Nishinoya
- Shōyō Hinata
- Tobio Kageyama
- Asahi Azumane
- Yutaka Obara
- Ryūnosuke Tanaka
- Kei Tsukishima
- Nobuteru Irihata
- Sadayuki Mizoguchi
- Kiyoko Shimizu
- Ittetsu Takeda
- Sō Inuoka (flashback only)
- Kenma Kozume (flashback only)
- Tetsurō Kuroo (flashback only)
- Oiwake is Date Tech's head coach.
- Aone has powerful high-fives.
- Ukai describes Kenma as "that setter with the pudding hair".
- Date Tech excels particularly in lead blocking.