Hawaii men’s volleyball: Rainbow Warriors return home, give season cancellation reactions

Hawaii men's volleyball seniors Patrick Gasman, Colton Cowell, James Anastassiades and Rado Parapunov returned to campus on March 13 after their season was canceled. / Photo by Cindy Luis

The Warriors returned today. The “Aunties” met them at the airport so they had several lei for the bus ride back to campus.

Think they’re still all in shock. Got to speak with the four seniors and Coach Wade. All very gracious in their interviews.

Here are video interviews with the four seniors — Patrick Gasman, Rado Parapunov, Colton Cowell, and James Anastassiades — as well as Wade.

The four players expressed varying degrees of openness to a return, depending on the NCAA’s allowance of extended eligibility. Gasman and Anastassiades seemed the most open to the idea, if a scholarship was part of the deal, while Parapunov and especially Cowell said they were intending to turn professional.


  1. Big Island Volleyball Fan March 13, 2020 6:52 pm

    If the Coronavirus threat is over by middle of April, couldn’t they host a senior’s night and party with the crowd? They don’t have to play a match, but it would be a nice way to honor the departing seniors. Those who decide to stay another year granted NCAA extends their scholarship another year, can defer senior night. I wonder though how the team could cope with so many players next year if two seniors can stick around. I guess they’d have to redshirt more players. What are your thought on this?

  2. H-Man March 13, 2020 7:13 pm

    Just read an article in the SA that the NCAA will extent another year of eligibility👍 Details to be worked out.

  3. Cindy Luis March 13, 2020 8:02 pm

    1. I wouldn’t count on this being over by next month. It is going to get worse before it gets better.
    UH is hoping to do something for ALL seniors. I don’t see the arena opening for a large crowd just for volleyball.
    some of this is going to depend on whether the campus and dorms stay open. Wade said they hope to get back to practice.
    Jeff Hall said the beach team is shut down for the year.
    Even if you redshirt people you still have a limit on how many players on a roster.
    2. Lotst of details to work out. it’s a nice idea but may end up being to impractical.

  4. Matt March 14, 2020 10:30 am

    This really sucks. Charlie Wade had two chances in hopes of a championship title, and to lose this one on the coronavirus sucks. They didn’t even get a chance to start conference competition and now what’s concerning is that it could take years until Charlie Wade has a team that win an NCAA title. With Rado, Gasman and Cowell contending pro careers following the 2021 season, this team is pretty much hanging on thin ice because how are we going to contend with the likes of BYU and/or UCLA should Charlie Wade have them on the schedule next season?

    I’m worried about the future for the MVB program and how they will contend in later seasons. Davide and Gabi are going to be out of control to stop for BYU, and with the current team we will have next season, it’s not enough to contend with them. We need serious replacements for Rado and Gasman because aside from them, there will not be that much height at Charlie Wade’s disposal.

    I just don’t know what is going to happen from here on out…

  5. Kauaiboy March 14, 2020 1:40 pm

    4. IMO LBSU will be the team to beat in the coming years, they have all world talent coming in starting next year!

  6. Matt March 14, 2020 3:20 pm


    Man…that makes it even more illuminating for the future of Hawaii MVB. We gotta find a way to get back on track and fix this. The fact that our program has yet to win an NCAA title in this generation is really jarring to look at. Are we EVER going to get on the board with a championship? We won in 2002, but the NCAA decided to be scrubs and take that away from us.

    That’s what the fans are probably going to be groaning about.

    If we had a Gabi or TJ Defalco-like player on our side, we’d be winning some championships here and there. But now in this day and age, we’re nowhere near successful. We gotta figure out a way to best our chances to a title and recruit hard to get back on track. That’s why I’m concerned for the future and uncertainty for this program. The best players go to schools that they feel can win championships. It sucks why we can’t be anywhere near the same level as those tough teams. It took 32 years for us to get a title (Started in 1970), and now with this rate, we could be seeing over 60 years if this trend continues, to where we can finally find a team that can win a title. Charlie Wade needs to make a decision about what to do in the off-season because at this point, our hopes to an NCAA title are starting to disappear and the fans aren’t going to get any happier from here.

  7. kahuna March 14, 2020 3:27 pm

    Geez….some people just have a gloomy outlook on life. As good as Rado, Pat, Colton and James were,, these past few years are not the only time we will have such talented players. I assumed when guys like Yuval, Clay Stanley, Costas and Jonas Umlaft left, the program fans predicted doom and gloom and thought that these players were irreplaceable.

    NEW FLASH!! There are tons of talented volleyball players out there and it will be up to Charlie and company to go find them and mold them into a team like the one we had these past couple of years. I have confidence that Dimi will fill Rado’s shoes nicely. I can see Chaz being as as good or even maybe better than Colton. Makua and Spyros can definitely give us what James A. have given us. Pat will be hard to replace but I think Charlie will find somebody. Maybe Max and Gui will elevate their game one more level.

    NEW FLASH 2.0….the most talented team does not always end up being the best team. See last year’s national champion in men’s basketball(Virginia)…this years national champion in football(LSU). Neither of these teams were considered to be the most talented team in the country but won national titles.

    LBSU won the last two championships in men’s volleyball not just because they are the most talented but because those guys played together for a long time and have great chemistry.

    LBSU dropped a few notched this year due to the lost of those great players. They will reload….just like UH will reload in a couple of years too.

    In a couple of years, Thelle and Humler will be a senior , Gui, Dimi and Chaz will be JRs. By then, I think we will be back near the top of the volleyball once more.

  8. kahuna March 14, 2020 3:36 pm

    If we had Gabi/TJ Defalco like players we will be winning championship???? I don’t think Gabi won a a national championship. Defalco was a great players but there is no way on God’s green earth that Defalco alone would have turn LBSU into a national champion by himself. Ensing and Tuaniga were national team level players. LBSU needed more than Defalco to win national titles.

  9. Cindy Luis March 14, 2020 4:21 pm

    4-5-6. et al. I really don’t understand the comments, particularly “We gotta find a way to get back on track and fix this.” Fix what? Or the program is on thin ice. Or the hopes for a title are starting to disappear
    They have plenty of talent on the roster and more coming in.
    Hawaii finished second to Long Beach State last year. They were a title contender this year. They got screwed by the NCAA in 2018, the only team to beat both Beach and UCLA that season, the two teams that played for the national title. they were in the final 6 in 2017.
    They are No. 3 among the winningest programs of the past four years.
    Only one team can win it all. Beach and Hawaii can be considered Affirmed and Alydar. Alydar was a great horse, Affirmed better in the races they both were in.
    8. Gabi Garcia Fernandez is a junior. BYU didn’t win a national championship when he was a freshman or sophomore.
    Agree that DeFalco didn’t win the title by himself. He and that core group played almost 8 years together, most of them in high school and club before college.

  10. Matt March 15, 2020 10:55 am

    Face it…Hawaii struggled to contain Gabi (34-6-58) and Davide (27-7-44) in both nights, especially in night 1 where they got obliterated pretty bad. Can you seriously imagine how lethal Fernandez will be next year should we face him and the cougars again? I just don’t know how we can win with such a young class in our disposal.

    The only guys that are going to be seniors for the 2021 class consist of Gage Worsley, Garrett Geiger (Although uncertain if he’ll stay with team because of a lack of playing time), and Jackson van Eekeren. The class is going to consist of 3 incoming freshmen, one second-year freshman (Kamalani), 5 3rd-year sophomores (Sheward, Hogland, Johnson, Todd, Wong; results could change if either leave), 5 sophomores (Galloway, Choy, Mouchlias, Voss, Suzumoto), 2 juniors (Thelle and Humler), and a 4th-year junior (Rosenfeld).

    Time is of the essence because most of the bench has had either limited or barely any action over the course of their season, and I’m sure Charlie Wade would love to find a way to give some run to guys who he firmly believes that can make an impact, especially given the fact how many players have left Charlie Wade’s roster over the course of his tenure due to lack of playing time. However, I think the main priority for this program is to stay healthy and not sustain injuries to their important players returning. With only one opposite in Mouchlias, I’m sure a back-up would be a welcome addition to this team because they gotta find a way to replace Rado since he’s leaving to play professionally. I don’t know…wouldn’t surprise me with what Charlie Wade has up his sleeve to finding his replacements in the off-season.

    Only one things certain, we just gotta hope this doesn’t affect UH’s fiscal sales a whole lot because cancelling the remaining winter/spring games might be difficult to swallow, for Matlin’s concern. Not to mention with only football and women’s volleyball games currently playing in the fall, it may not be enough to make up for lost finances from games that suffered from being cancelled due the coronavirus debacle.

    Hopefully, the fans can make a difference by keeping the winter/spring sports sales alive when that time comes, at least, in the best possible way.

  11. Kahuna March 15, 2020 11:12 am

    Dang….you must walk around with a cloud over your head. Everything seems to be gloomy. Maybe you need to find some joy in other parts of your life.

    This athletic program will be fine and will continue to give fans the thrill they have provided these past few years. I, for one, have tremendous hope in Todd Graham, Robyn Ah Mow, Eran Ganot, Laura Beema, Jeff Hall, Bob Coolen and the rest of the great staff of coaches to continue their winning ways.

    Maybe you need to look back at the careers of guys like Colton Cowell, Joe Worsley, Dalton Solbrig ,etc….and see where they started and where they ended up. Everyone of them improved as they grow older. The same will happen to all the youngsters we have now.

  12. diamonds808 March 15, 2020 12:30 pm

    Geez all this negativity with the season being cancelled and we won’t have a good team next year, etc. Coach has traveled around the globe to find great talent – but it’s their philosophy that even if the guy could have all the talent in the world but doesn’t fit into how the program is molded or wouldn’t fit the “culture”, he will not sign them. Why would you think we don’t have talent on the current roster or the recruits coming in next year? Did you ever read all these player’s resume? It’s been said for the past few years that our reserves could start for any other team in the country and that’s been true – look when 2 transferred to UCLA the other year – both were starting for them and Hawaii moved on with the talent we have almost without a thought of those that left. These boys have bought into the “culture” here and “get it!”, knowing that they may come in and have to wait their turn because others before them are slightly better. That’s what makes their practices a whole lot better – they are all competing for that starting job. Yes it’s unfortunate that we didn’t win it last year and this season got cancelled but the coaching staff has worked hard to build what we have today for the future. They not only have built great teams but have also shaped these young men’s character into becoming outstanding citizens in their community and beyond. We saw some examples of it during the last series where some coaches and maybe players characters on the opposing team were questionable. *My thing is with this and any UH program – if YOU think YOU could do a better job at coaching AND recruiting then YOU should go out and apply for a COLLEGE coaching position the next time it becomes available!

  13. Auntyz March 15, 2020 2:28 pm

    Auwe! We the fans will miss you. Delighted the aunties met you at the airport, mahalo aunties.
    Congratulations to those of you who will graduate before the 2021 season. Bummer about senior night but the degree is the more important that a championship banner. Congratulations on a super preconferance season, you did more than good you did great.
    Malama pono and a hui hou
    And congratulations to ALL the graduating student athletes.

  14. GoUH March 15, 2020 5:28 pm

    Totally agree with No 13! Mahalo to our four seniors and whatever the future holds for them AND All other seniors in UH spring sports!


  15. darkfire35 March 15, 2020 8:42 pm

    Tough breaks seniors and MVB Warrior team and staff but you did us proud. We will miss what could have been a great season as it was shaping out to be. Good luck and Godspeed in your future endeavors!!
    Cindy, what is the impact on spring practices for the Wahine VB team and other sports that normally begin spring practices?
    Mahalo for all you do!

  16. Matt March 15, 2020 10:09 pm

    Honestly, ever since the coronavirus thing surfaced, it’s pretty much put a damper to the fans. The media is just giving plenty of reason to screw the NCAA from a financial standpoint. News, internet, and media posts are EVERYWHERE with the coronavirus. And it’s hard to believe that the first case was announced prior to the BYU men’s volleyball rematch and Oregon baseball game. Ever since then, the turbulence has shifted heavily towards panic, fear, and worry.

    Not only that, professional sports were becoming part of the avalanche to the coronavirus with three NBA players tested positive, a minor league baseball player, three soccer players, an XFL player, and a manager. It just keeps on going…

    What is of worry is when it’ll be over. I just can’t seem to get over the coronavirus negativity that has been going on so far, and it has been a devastating hit it has given off towards UH’s sports. I really, REALLY don’t know where to go from here.

  17. 808 March 17, 2020 7:45 pm

    Just posted on hawaiiathletics website:
    March 17, 2020 | 7:35 a.m.
    Upcoming Fundraisers & Banquets Postponed

    HONOLULU – The University of Hawai’i Athletics Department has postponed several upcoming fundraisers and banquets.

    Women’s Golf Nine and Dine (March 31)
    Men’s Basketball Annual Banquet (April 13)
    Na Koa Golf Tournament (April 13)
    Men’s Volleyball Annual Banquet (April 19)
    Women’s Basketball Annual Banquet (April 20)

    The events will be rescheduled as appropriate and announced at a later time.

  18. Shar March 18, 2020 4:49 pm

    I just got notification of the refund for my season tickets. One option in to donate the refund to the H club. Will do!

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