In late June, 2012, the volleyball club from Yashima Junior High School took 3rd place in Sotai (総大), the summer Yurihonjo-Nikaho sports tournament. 3rd place qualified the team for the prefectural tournament in July. This was the first time in 25 years that Yashima has gone to the prefectural tournament in volleyball.
The result is impressive because of the hard work the team put in. Many of the ninth graders on the team didn't play volleyball in elementary school, which means they got good at volleyball in just two year and a half years! In previous years the team hadn't been so strong, so the players couldn't simply copy older girls on the team and expect great results. The coach, Mr. Saito, came in on weekends and holidays and stayed late into the evening practicing with them. From time to time, I practiced with the team too, and it makes me very happy to hear this news.
At the prefectural tournament, the team lost 1-2 first round. They took the first set but let the next two go. Two of the members — the captain and assistant captain — qualified for this year's city all-star team, another thing that hasn't happened in many years.