"The Strength of a Powerhouse" (Japanese: “
Aoba Johsai realizes Hinata and Kageyama's secret signal and starts applying pressure to the duo. Oikawa purposely pressures Kageyama, causing him to start losing his composure and making mistakes. As Aoba Johsai pulls ahead with a five-point gap, Oikawa shifts his attention to Tanaka.
Aoba Johsai is one point ahead, but Oikawa’s realized Hinata and Kageyama’s secret signal. He explains to his team how “bring” or “give” refers to their superhuman quick while “send” would be a normal quick. Oikawa affirms this when he observes that Hinata went through with a normal strike when using 'send' when he calls out to Kageyama which convinced him.
On the other side, Kageyama, Hinata and Sugawara watch Aoba Johsai closely. Besides Hinata, the other 2 suspect that Oikawa figured out how their attacks were carried out smoothly through their signals.
Back to Aoba Johsai, Oikawa explains that Hinata's core role is a decoy, therefore, if they were to follow his attacks, they would be playing at Karasuno's pace. He suggests that 1 player would mark Hinata when he calls 'bring' or 'give' but go back to their normal defensive strategies should Hinata say 'send'. Iwaizumi takes into consideration that because they called for a time-out this early into the set, Karasuno would most likely notice that they discovered their signals. However, Oikawa assures him and says that if Kageyama is aware that they know, it would freak him out just a little.
Focusing back to Karasuno, Nishinoya and Tanaka notice Kageyama's serious face. Nishinoya tells him to stop making that face but Tanaka tells Nishinoya that Kageyama holds the same expression when deciding on a yoghurt flavour or drinking milk and Kageyama pathetically denies it. Tanaka reassures Kageyama that even if Aoba Johsai discovers their signals, his setups will still help the other attackers score.
As the players return to the game, Nishinoya remarks that he had received a similar, powerful serve in the past which triggers Tanaka's memory into remembering that Nishinoya did say he received a powerful serve back in Junior High from Kitagawa Daichi which turned out to be Oikawa. Nishinoya also notes that back in Junior High, Oikawa did not have much control which led to his conclusion that Oikawa must have practised a lot to gain control and power in his serves. In addition, he understands that Aoba Johsai is not top 4 in their area just because of Oikawa but because the other players are just as good. Nishinoya finalises his speech saying that Karasuno should always be on guard and be playing their best.
Hinata serves first but Aoba Johsai successfully receives it and Hanamaki spikes it down, Hinata failing to receive the spike. Oikawa seeks confirmation from Kindaichi whether he knows where to serve which Kindaichi replies with a 'yes'. Kindaichi serves straight to Asahi who could not receive it properly. Kindaichi serves to Asahi again, who, in turn, could not receive it. From this, Keishin and Asahi realise that Kindachi was aiming for the empty spot that Kageyama moves away from, making it hard for Asahi to receive. Manaka Ujiie (one of Oikawa's fans) asks Asuka Hirama (another fan) why Asahi could not receive Kindachi's serve even though it was not like Oikawa's power serve. Takinoue decides to inform them that Kageyama's position in the rear guard forces him to move to the front as he needs to support as a setter but by doing so, there would be an area Kageyama covers in front of Asahi which was where Kindachi aimed. Furthermore, the timing of Kindachi's serves and Kageyama running to the front clashes, giving Kindaichi the opportunity to serve in that area. The 2 thank him.
With Aoba Johsai's 4-point lead and 3 pressurising third-years at the front line, Kageyama is mentally pushed back into a corner. Oikawa takes note of this. Kageyama attempts a dump-shot but it is blocked as Oikawa mentions right after it was blocked that Kageyama's actions became clearer as he loses composure.
As the match continues, Tanaka scores and shouts with pride. 2 spectators observe that Tanaka's lively attitude on the court would keep the players' morale up. Oikawa also takes note of this. Later on, when Hinata calls out 'send', Kindaichi watches the ball and jumps in front of Hinata (read-blocking). Hinata was quick to notice but did a flimsy spike which luckily, landed on Aoba Johsai's court. Kageyama is further pressured as that confirmed that Aoba Johsai was aware of the verbal signal. For Kageyama's serve, due to the heavy oppression, Kageyama throws the ball too far front and almost steps on the line (would cause a foul). To prevent a technical foul, Kageyama uses the base of his palm to hit the ball. Hanamaki receives it near the front which disrupts Aoba Johsai's formation. Oikawa sends the ball back to Karasuno's side (he was the 3rd touch) but Kageyama touches the ball first, forcing Sawamura to set to Tanaka who was blocked out. The chapter ends with Oikawa serving towards Tanaka.
- Tōru Oikawa
- Shōyō Hinata
- Hajime Iwaizumi
- Tobio Kageyama
- Kōshi Sugawara
- Daichi Sawamura
- Takahiro Hanamaki
- Ryūnosuke Tanaka
- Yū Nishinoya
- Yūtarō Kindaichi
- Shinji Watari
- Issei Matsukawa
- Asahi Azumane
- Kei Tsukishima
- Keishin Ukai
- Makoto Shimada
- Yūsuke Takinoue
- Ittetsu Takeda
- Kiyoko Shimizu
- Kageyama always has a serious expression on his face, even when he’s trying to decide on a yogurt flavor at the vending machine.
- Nishinoya reveals that he had received one of Oikawa's serves back in junior high.
- It's a foul to step on or over the end line when serving.