The Warrior volleyball team practiced from 6-8 a.m. today, and headed to the mainland this afternoon for matches against Queens and St. Francis in Charlotte, N.C., from Thursday to Saturday.
They are traveling 12: Joe Worsley, Gage Worsley, Stijn van Tilburg, Rado Parapunov, Patrick Gasman, Dalton Solbrig, Colton Cowell, Brett Rosenmeier, James Anastassiades, Jakob Thelle, Max Rosenfeld, Filip Humler.
Very busy on lower campus this morning. Several teams out conditioning on the track.
Mahalo to our Brian McInnis for the Q&A below with Parapunov.
Opposite Rado Parapunov was available for some quick Q&A with the media before the team departed today. Here’s what he said.
Q: What’s the mind-set of the team going into this road trip?
A: We are happy, because it’s our first road trip. We are super focused, because those are really good teams. We are excited to see how good are we on the road, can we manage to play on the same level as we played here in the Stan Sheriff Center.
Q: What have you learned about your team playing Stanford.
A: We learned there’s a lot of room for improvement. We met the Friday night, Sunday night after every single game and we discussed briefly what happened during the game, even though we managed to win in three both nights, there’s still a lot of stuff to improve, work on. The season is long, so I’m positive about the outcome.
Q: Where does your game stand?
A: I would say a little above average. I think our team has worked really hard to be where we are today. I think our leaders are probably one of the greatest players and leaders that I’ve ever played with. So, the numbers are just numbers. Our passing, by Gage Worsley, Stijn (van Tilburg) and Colton (Cowell), of course our setting, our brain Joe Worsley, how to put us, single block (or) no block, just you gotta see the ball. That’s the most simple thing. I’m the last person … at the very end, it’s me. There’s a lot of guys before me who are doing their job perfectly so I can just get the kill.
Q: Do you talk about not dropping a set yet?
A: No, no, no. We all know that one day you’re on the top and the next day you’re on the bottom. We’re just trying to stay focused and not underestimate any of the other teams. We’re trying to play our game, improve every single one, and point by point, set by set, game by game, go all the way. Oh, quick shout-out to Brett Rosenmeier, it’s his birthday today. … So happy for you Rosie.
Q: Do you ever think, wow, we just swept Stanford back to back?
A: No, to be honest. I’ve not thought about it. I’m just thinking about our games Thursday-Friday-Saturday. Like I said, one day you’re on the top and the next day you’re on the bottom. St. Francis, they’re a really good team; they beat Ohio State and Ohio State was like back-to-back champions. So, everything can happen. Santa Barbara beat BYU. Anything can happen. You gotta stay focused. Of course, we are happy about what happened, because Stanford are an amazing team with very, very talented players, national team players. They beat Irvine. They proved to us, to the whole volleyball world that they can play volleyball. And they can. Just because of the fact we were very focused, and very well prepared for them.