Division 1 of Men’s Volleyball is mostly filled with those players who live and breathe volleyball. At the very least, it’s true of those given the most attention within the narrative:
- Hinata Shouyou
- Kageyama Tobio
- Bokuto Koutarou
- Ushijima Wakatoshi
- Miya Atsumu
- Oikawa Tooru
To them, volleyball is a passion that encompasses all that they are and wish to be. It’s not that they have nothing outside the game itself, but all that they are comes out through the game.
On the other hand, the Sendai Frogs represent the players who love volleyball but aren’t consumed by it. These are the people who found joy and a sense of accomplishment in the sport, but have other aspirations outside of it.
The team itself has players few fans expected to see continue playing professionally.
- Tsukishima Kei
- Koganegawa Kanji
- Kyoutani Kentarou
These are people for whom volleyball was new, or a means for something else, or just not something they wanted to dedicate all of themselves to. Volleyball isn’t everything to them, they have other dreams, other passions, other interests. Volleyball is one of many things that they love. But they do love it.
Not everyone is born into a family that loves volleyball, not everyone gets their first inspiration at such a young age, not everyone is willing to risk it all on a sport — especially knowing that any game could be your last. But that doesn’t diminish their love for the game or the work they’ve put into it.
Just like all the teams that didn’t make it to Nationals, or the teams that made it just to lose in the first few rounds, they too love volleyball or they wouldn’t be here, they too have their reasons for playing, and a strong desire to win. Just because they lost doesn’t mean they didn’t matter. And it doesn’t mean that volleyball didn’t matter to them.
The interview published in the volleyball magazine mentions that the Sendai Frogs are approaching Division 1, which means they’re not too far behind the “monsters” of their generation.
The Sendai Frogs are sending a message to the National Team and other Division 1 players: “We’re here too, and we’re coming for you.”