Chuo Online

  • Top
  • Opinion
  • Research
  • Education
  • People
  • RSS

Top>Hakumon CHUO [2010 Summer Issue]>[Special report] A promising rookie Volleyball team Mr. Yosuke Arai (1st year student in the Faculty of Law)/ Mr. Ryota Denda (1st year student in the Faculty of Economics)

Hakumon CHUOIndex

[Special report] A promising rookie

Volleyball team

Mr. Yosuke Arai (1st year student in the Faculty of Law)/ Mr. Ryota Denda (1st year student in the Faculty of Economics)

Mr. Arai and Mr. Denda know each other from their high school days. They first met at a qualifying trial for the all-national youth when they were 16 years old. After that, they also had opportunities to meet on other occasions, such as trials. They did not consider each other to be rivals as they played in different positions. They had been just friends who would talk when they happened to meet. Now, they spend days getting better by learning from each other as teammates.

Thrive on the experiences of the spring league match

Mr. Denda, 190 cm tall, played center position in the Kanto district universities men's spring league match in May as a regular member and received a service award. Mr. Arai, 185 cm all, plays the side position. He played in one of the matches as a standby member, but most of the time, he was on the bench.

In this league match, rival Tokai University won the victory, and Chuo University earned the bronze medal (6 wins, 4 losses).

After his first experience in the league match, Mr. Denda found his challenge. "I am just playing right now. I want to be able to contribute to the team. In addition to height, I need to develop speed in the swing from the toss".

Mr. Arai has set a new goal. "I want to be a regular member first. I am going to improve my skills by learning key skills from the seniors. I also want to cheer the team on."

Mr. Denda received instruction from a superb coach in high school

Mr. Denda is from the Souzou Gakuen University's high school in Nagano prefecture. He has not had the experience of participating in the All High schools Spring Matches or Inter-high school Championships. However, he went through three years of demanding practices in high school under the instruction of Coach Yoshifumi Mibu, who had led the famous Okaya Kogyo high school to win the national title many times.

Mr. Denda began to play volleyball when he was a junior high school student. When he participated in the junior high school trials of the Junior Olympic Cup at the age of 15, his performance caught the eye of Coach Mibu. He recruited Mr. Denda for Souzou Gakuin high school.

Practices at the high school were very hard, and many times he felt like quitting. The practices took place from 3:00 pm until 8:00 or 9:00 at night. But he did not quit because, "I had never won in junior high school. I wanted to win"

Mr. Arai earned victory at the Inter-high school Championship

Mr. Arai is from Ohtsuka high school in Osaka. He led the team to victory at the Inter-high school Championship as the ace/captain of the team.

Mr. Arai also began to play volleyball in junior high school because "my brother (two years older than him) was also playing volleyball." The junior high school team was not particularly strong, but he was chosen to be a member of the Junior Olympic Cup at the age of 15. He played against Ohtsuka high school at that time and had a good impression of the school. Therefore, he decided to go to Ohtsuka high school.

In high school, he participated in the All-high schools Spring Matches twice, placing in the top 8 of the Inter-high schools Championship during his second year, and earning the national title at the same event during his third year. It was indeed the first time for an Osaka public school to earn the national title. He asserted that the practice at the high school was "fun". "It was hard to participate in the many practice matches. The long commute (2 hours one way) was also tough. But I have only good memories," Mr. Arai said.

Want to be like Chuo University graduate who currently plays on All Japan team

Mr. Denda chose Chuo University following a suggestion made by Coach Mibu. One of his former students, Mr. Yoshihiko Matsumoto, currently plays on the All Japan Team and also played at Chuo University. Mr. Denda looks up to him. "Mr. Matsumoto and I have similar playing styles. I want to complement the gap in our heights by jumping higher," Mr. Denda said.

"Both Waseda and Chuo Universities came to recruit me. The next time I talked with the coach from Chuo University, Mr. Tatsuya Fukuzawa (a Chuo University graduate and the current ace of the All Japan Team) visited me at school. We talked a lot, and I decided to go to Chuo University," Mr. Arai said. He wants to become like Mr. Fukuzawa.

At university, both Mr. Denda and Mr. Arai began to understand that practice at university is very different from practice at high school. "At high school, all we needed to do was to follow the instructions from the coach. However, at university, we need to think independently. We need to understand the plays developed by the seniors and work on them," Mr. Denda said.

"Everyone on the team has a strong focus on winning. I feel it during daily practice," Mr. Arai said. "The weight training, which I experienced for the first time, was tough." But his body is steadily being strengthened.

It is not an impossible dream to win a national victory among universities if these two grow and lead the team.

(Student Reporter: Miyuki Nozaki; 2nd year student in the Faculty of Law)