Hawaii men’s volleyball: Rado Parapunov, Charlie Wade see room for improvement

Hawaii’s Rado Parapunov (19), Patrick Gasman (15) and James Anastassiades (2) pose for a photo after sweeping UC Irvine on Saturday night. / Photo by Andrew Lee, Special to the Star-Advertiser

There would be no grand pronouncements of championship destiny coming from the Hawaii men’s volleyball team on this night.

Even after a sweep of No. 4 UC Irvine that moved the No. 1 Rainbow Warriors to 12-0 and gave them the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts title, in addition to a 25th straight home win.

Perhaps it was the five straight match points that the Anteaters saved before UH finally put it away at 25-22, 25-20, 25-20. Or that UH hit a pedestrian .276. Whatever the case, the ‘Bows were left wanting as they ready for a two-match trip to Stanford next week.

Irvine won the battle of blocks between the top two teams in the country in that stat, 13.0 to 8.5. Middle Scott Stadick, elite in that regard, got in on 11, including three during that run of last-stand points.

It was the highest-ranked opponent UH has faced this year; UH will get the Anteaters (7-4) at the Stan Sheriff Center two more times in Big West matches to cap the regular season in April.

By then, UH hopes to be a shade more convincing.

“Good, but not great. We’re certainly a work in progress,” coach Charlie Wade assessed of his group. “We’re able to win when we’re not playing our best. I thought we were a little sloppy in the first two sets, but we got better as the night went on. This was the first time for this group kind of playing a really good opponent here. And you could tell it was a little bit of a different vibe early on, so glad to come out with the win.”

Colton Cowell was named tournament MVP after putting down 12 kills (with nine errors) on 30 swings. Rado Parapunov had his share of errors as well, with six, against 14 kills on 22 swings. Libero Gage Worsley and middle Patrick Gasman were the other UH players named to the all-tournament team.

Parapunov, like his coach, was under no delusions at this point in the season.

“It was good to see where we are,” Parapunov said.

“We won, which is the most important thing,” he added. “There are some things we need to work on. Of course, I think we are a young team with a lot of experienced an un-experienced players from different, key positions. The thing about now on is, that experience that we old guys have, to translate it and show to the young guys how to take care.”

Interestingly, freshman Chaz Galloway, who’d appeared to carve out a regular role amongst the top-shelf players, sat on Saturday in favor of sophomore Filip Humler. Humler delivered five kills on 11 swings.

Aside from Gasman, who put down six kills on eight swings, the most efficient hitter on the night was Irvine’s Alexandre Nsakanda, who had 15 kills on 30 swings with three errors (.300).

“We just weren’t the best version of ourself,” Wade said. “But when you can beat a good team like that and not play at our best, it’s a good sign.”


  1. Kahuna February 9, 2020 10:39 am

    Chaz is just going to have to wait his turn. Filip is playing lights out now and there is no room for him. Filip is a very good server, defender and passer. He is not at the elite level in terms of his hitting but he is not being counted on to be that at this time.

    Just like Filip have to wait his turn last season. Just like Dimi have to wait his turn this season. Chaz is just going to have to work his butt off now and into next season on passing and defense to crack the starting lineup.

    Everybody love Chaz because of his highlight reel hits but the game of volleyball is more than just hitting. Filip is just a more complete player at this time.

    With Spyros Chakas coming in, there is going to be an epic battle for PT next season for the OH spots.

    Hope Chaz doesn’t get discouraged. He is on the #1 in the country. Everybody on the team is a hot shot like him so he is going to have to just keep working. His time will come

  2. UHVoice97 February 9, 2020 11:27 am

    1. In addition to what you’ve mentioned, Filip has one full year of weight training under his belt. I sense he’s gotten stronger from last year and you can see him power through the block on his attacks or when he goes high hands, the ball takes off off the blockers’ hands and makes it difficult for the back row to get to the ball. Defensively, he’s also gotten quicker to the ball.

    Wait ’til Dimi and Chaz hit the weight room during the off-season. Not that they’re not doing it now, but the transformation will be evident next season. Case in point – Colton Cowell.

    I don’t think anyone on the team is discouraged about not playing. They understand the coaches’ decisions and are grateful for the opportunities they do get to play. What I like is that they know what they do in practice helps the team as a whole get better.

  3. Aiea 7 February 9, 2020 5:20 pm

    sometimes having too many good players on the team is not really good as players want to play. case in point – mautatia and another good player left two years ago to play elsewhere, UCLA I believe. So if any good player is not playing he will go somewhere he can play fulltime and you cannot blame them.

  4. Fred February 9, 2020 5:50 pm

    I’d still rather have too many good players than not enough…otherwise you could be stuck having to play scrubs or walk ons that would never sniff the court playing on any other team.

  5. roygbivs February 10, 2020 4:26 am

    Nah disagree 3 , love the fact we have this much competition within our own team. Will make us so much better to compete for future National Championships. Those players you spoke of that left the program are good, great players (Rattay & Mautatia) however just a tad below the ones we got now.
    This culture has to manifest into all sports here if we want to be GREAT.

    GO BOWS GO!!!

  6. seenya citizen February 10, 2020 7:56 am

    I think what separates Filip from Chaz is the serve. Chaz has to improve his, and I think he will, being just a freshman. Voss needs to develop a tougher serve also or be subbed out. His floaters are easily handled, unlike everyone else. As a whole, too many service errors, which are free points. Hopefully, everyone will improve. Still, the team looks good, even with a new setter.

  7. scl57 February 10, 2020 8:09 am

    If Chaz improves his passing skills he will likely start. Right now, Filip is the better passer and that is why he got the nod to start.

  8. UHVoice97 February 10, 2020 5:51 pm

    Let us remember that there are 4 seniors this year: Colton Cowell, Patrick Gasman, Rado Parapunov, and James Anastassiades. This year’s senior class will be hard to replace, much like last year and previously.

    Here’s a possible lineup for next year: OH – Filip Humler, Chaz Galloway; MB – Guilherme Voss, Max Rosenfeld; OPP – Dimitrios Mouchlias; S – Brett Sheward; L – Gage Worsley.

    I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but right now the experience the freshmen and reserves are gaining will benefit them individually and as a team. I admire the patience of the young men who have persevered throughout their journey thus far. Only time will tell who rises to the top.

    Regarding Matatutia and Rattray, they made their decisions to move on and play elsewhere. It is what it is, such is life. I wish them all the best.

  9. UHVoice97 February 12, 2020 5:45 pm

    Oops. Only now I’ve noticed. Correction: Matautia. Sorry Austin.

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