Hawaii men’s volleyball: Patrick Gasman proud of young guns after second sweep of Charleston

Hawaii outside hitter Cole Hogland reacted after a point with fellow freshman Brett Sheward in the third set of a sweep of Charleston on Saturday. / Photo by Jamm Aquino, Star-Advertiser

Patrick Gasman beamed like a proud uncle.

The Hawaii senior middle blocker had a good night, sure. Five kills on .400 hitting and three block assists in a second straight sweep of Charleston, 25-18, 25-16, 25-17 on Saturday.

But that wasn’t the reason for the big grin. It had more to do with the procession of first-timers that had just graced the Stan Sheriff Center court for the 2-0 Rainbow Warriors.

“It’s really good to get a lot of guys in. We got like 14 guys in yesterday, probably about the same number tonight. And it’s really good to get all these younger guys experience that might not be getting it later on in the season,” Gasman mused.

Making their official debuts were: liberos Shea Suzumoto and ‘Eleu Choy; hitter/opposite Cole Hogland; and middle/opposite Alaka‘i Todd. They were among the 15 to see action on the night as UH led comfortably almost the whole way. Backups like James Anastassiades, Dimitrios Mouchlias, Guilherme Voss, Brett Sheward and Devon Johnson saw time, too. Also, freshman Chaz Galloway joined the Rainbows on the bench for the first time this season after being away from the team for oral surgery.

Coach Charlie Wade began breaking some in as early as midway through Set 1.

“I think they handled it really well,” Gasman said. “Alaka‘i got in today, Max (setter Van Eekeren) got in yesterday. I’ve been like, I don’t want to say mentoring them, but they ask me questions all the time. Like, how do they do this, how do they do that. Seeing them put it to work and getting game experience is huge. Going from practice to the game is way different, and seeing them be able to excel in those positions is awesome.”

Hogland had one of the signature moments of the night, when he solo blocked Charleston’s Jake Vorburger to set up match point.

“I told (Hogland), ‘hey, they haven’t set this middle in a while. I’m going to commit with him, and you’re going to be alone (on the outside),'” Gasman recounted excitedly. “And he did exactly what he does in practice, gets up really big and smothers the ball.” The 6-foot-10 All-American laughed.

“You can’t really describe it. It all hits you all at once,” Hogland, who watched last year’s 28-3 team exclusively from the sidelines, said of his first moments on the floor. “You might be nervous, but everyone else helps you. Colton (Cowell) and Pat certainly helped me calm my nerves a little bit. From there on out, I just had to keep going.”

UH will face better competition — the Golden Eagles failed to crack 20 points in any set on either night — possibly as soon as next week’s Raising Cane’s Rainbow Warrior Classic, a three-matches-in-three-nights setup against Emmanuel College, Harvard and Grand Canyon beginning Thursday.

A little seasoning for the newbies now could go a long way later, the reasoning goes.

Gasman noted the team’s practices have been highly competitive, with the “B” side taking two of five games regularly from the “A” side. That said, nothing beats actual game experience.

“I was telling someone, they were asking me, ‘hey, how are you guys going to be in later years?'” he said. “I was like, ‘oh, we’re going to be fine.’ And after we leave, we’re leaving a good culture and legacy for them. They’re living it right now.”

Hawaii middle blocker Patrick Gasman pumped his fist after a point against Charleston. / Photo by Jamm Aquino, Star-Advertiser


  1. vballfan January 5, 2020 8:16 am

    Great, positive quotes from Gasman.

  2. Aiea 7 January 5, 2020 1:43 pm

    while this year’s team is undoubtedly good but I don’t believe they are as good as last year’s team at this juncture. I prefer the quick sets, they are harder to block. long beach state with tuiniga who is a very smart and good quick setter used the quick set and was very successful. they won last year because tuiniga was just a little better than worsely, he was still a great setter. Charleston was not a good test of how good this year’s team is. the team will get better but how much is not sure, and if they can hang on to their number one ranking. there a many other good teams now who will challenge Hawaii. I don’t believe that this year’s team is going to duplicate last year’s team of not losing set.

  3. Kahuna January 5, 2020 3:19 pm

    There are many way to win matches. Just because UH went quick last season and UH have changed the tempo this season does not mean they are not better or worse.

    Joe was very good with the fast set and was key to winning matches but maybe Thelle is not that type of setter so the staff have decided to go with another tempo that would suit Thelle better. Maybe this offense was what Thelle ran while playing for Norway. Forcing him to go fast when it’s not his game would not be a smart idea.

    A good coach would tailor the offense to the personnel he have and not force a setter to do something they are not good at.

  4. Aiea 7 January 5, 2020 8:36 pm

    in the two matches with Charleston, their blocks were just as good as Hawaii’s, the reason is that they could camp out waiting for the set to come down to the hitter. and Charleston is not a very good blocking team, but were successful because they could read the set and hitter. when Hawaii faces a team with tall blockers, they will be blocked. and with Colten who is short for an outside hitter, he has a better chance being successful hitting quick sets. uh has two other setters, maybe they can use one of them as a quick setter. setting the high set to parapunov is not going to help him, he will be blocked or hit out trying to avoid the block. he has a “flat” swing. It is easier to hit without blockers being in position. last year he got a lot of unblocked kills because of the quick set. stin-burg also. I predict that they won’t be as successful as last year without the quick set.

  5. Kahuna January 5, 2020 9:16 pm

    We ran this same offense during the fall season when we went up to California and went something like 7-1 vs UC Irvine, UCSB, Long Beach, etc…

    I honestly don’t know what you expect. Just because you are in love with the fast set doesn’t mean Charlie have to implement it. He is the coach. He knows his team better than anyone else.

    If going fast would make this team better, he would have implemented that style of offense. It it obvious at this time that he rather the set go higher.

    This is a different team and a different year. If it is so easy to duplicate what you did in the past, LBSU will win the NCAA title forever by just doing what they did last year.

  6. Kahuna January 5, 2020 9:25 pm

    BTW…being good as last year?? Last year was an anomaly. There may never be another team for a LONG time that will win this much matches in a row. Even the NCAA champ LBSU did not set that kind of record.

    Asking this team(or any future teams) to be better then last year is a fantasy.

  7. Kahuna January 5, 2020 9:30 pm

    ^^^^I meant to say win consecutive SETS in a row as the record we set last season.

  8. shar January 6, 2020 8:32 am

    2. I am a bit salty about last year. I feel the championship should have been played in a neutral gym. We beat LB here and they beat us there. Who knows who would have won the championship in a neutral gym.
    Was his name Enroe? He was a good hitter. The setter is an important position but Thelle is different. I love when he kills the ball.

  9. T103 January 7, 2020 9:14 am

    As in terms of the “neutral site” being LBSU for the final match, schools bid for final 4 matches to be held years in advance. I can’t blame LBSU or say they made it happen that way, they wouldn’t have known their team would have been in the final 4 that far in advance. I DO think, although don’t think this would be logistically possible, once NCAA has picked a “neutral site” years in advance, I think they should have a back=up site near-by that wouldn’t require a huge over-haul of logistics in case the hosting site ends up being in the final 4 or whatever. But I don’t know how that would work with reserving a back up site with paying $ to hold just in case they need it. I think they should book final 4 games in convention centers and NCAA bring in courts and stuff just to ensure a “neutral site” BUT that probably won’t happen.

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