Aloha ball will have to wait another year.
Volleyball coach Charlie Wade confirmed his four seniors — including two-time All-American Rado Parapunov — will return for the 2021 season.
It was presumed their eligibility had ended in March when the NCAA canceled the remainder of the spring-sport seasons because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But later that month, the NCAA’s Division I Council approved a measure providing spring-sport players “an additional season of competition and an extension of their period of eligibility.” Translation: Each athlete’s current class standing was frozen, meaning a senior this year will remain a senior next academic year, a sophomore will be a sophomore, and so forth. The returning seniors would not count against next year’s scholarship limits, but they only could receive financial aid up to the amount they are receiving this year.
🎥 Reaction from head coach Charlie Wade and #HawaiiMVB's four seniors after the Athletics Department's decision to extend the eligibility of its spring sport seniors for the 2020-21 academic year. pic.twitter.com/RR4jSPUH9I
— Hawaii Men’s Volleyball (@HawaiiMensVB) May 8, 2020
The council left the implementation to the individual schools.Today, UH decided each of its 10 spring programs will have the option of bringing back this year’s seniors. UH’s stipulation is each program will pay for its added scholarship costs.
“No new institutional funds will be used,” UH athletic director David Matlin wrote in an news release.
UH has 10 teams that are deemed spring-semester sports, including men’s volleyball. The Rainbow Warriors were ranked No. 2 nationally when their season was canceled in March. Today, Wade confirmed the 2021 returns of Parapurov, an opposite who was named to the AVCA’s All-America first team the past two seasons; outside hitter Colton Cowell, who was picked to the AVCA’s second team; middle blocker Patrick Gasman, who was a second-team selection in 2019 and 2020, and serving specialist James Anastassiades. Wade said Anastassiades is likely to be hired as a graduate assistant.
Coupled with the addition of the incoming recruits, Wade said, “the energy in the practice gym is going to be at a really high level — super intense, super competitive.”
Wade said the four seniors are set to complete work on bachelor’s degrees next week. They are expected to enter master’s programs in the fall.
“I was really hoping for another opportunity to come back here,” Parapunov said. “The news we received today, I think, (was) amazing.”
Wade said it will take restructuring the volleyball budget and fund-raising to pay for the seniors’ additional season.
The UH baseball team has four seniors. The Rainbow Wahine softball team has two seniors.