Hawai’i, Lewis to square off in NCAA Tournament semifinal rematch

Photo courtesy of Hawai’i athletics

Jonathan Bates | Associate Editor

Hawai’i will play four matches in five days on the mainland in mid-January, starting with a rematch of a 2019 NCAA tournament semifinals match versus Lewis.

The Bows won that semifinals match in four games, and advanced to the championship match where they lost to host, Long Beach State.

The key returners from that 2019 Hawai’i team (28-3, 8-2 Big West) are opposite Rado Parapunov (First-Team All-American), middle attacker Patrick Gasman (Second-Team All-American), outside attacker Colton Cowell, and libero Gage Worsley (First-Team All-American).

Parapunov ranked in the top-ten last year nationally with 0.457 aces per game and 4.07 kills per game. Gasman was No. 2 nationally with 2.44 blocks per game. Hawai’i led all teams last year with 13.20 assists per game, 2.62 blocks per game, 14.11 kills per game, and a .435 attack percentage. That .435 attack percentage set a new NCAA record for the highest attack percentage in a single season.

Due to this returning talent, Off the Block named Hawai’i No. 3 on its Way Too Early Projection Top Ten back in May. Opponents BYU and Stanford are No. 1 and No. 2 respectively on that list.

Returning for Lewis (26-6, 13-1 MIVA in 2019) are both starting middle attackers – TJ Murray (Second-Team All-MIVA) and Tyler Mitchem (Second-Team All-American) – as well as starting outside attacker Ryan Coenen (Second-Team All-American).

Mitchem led the nation with a .504 attack percentage, while Coenen led the team with 3.25 kills per game. Lewis ranked in the top five nationally with 1.78 aces per game and 2.55 blocks per game last year.

Hawai’i will open the 2020 campaign with a pair of matches at home versus Charleston before hosting Emmanuel, Harvard, and Grand Canyon in the Rainbow Warrior Classic

The Bows will host Queens, Concordia-Irvine, and UC Irvine in the Outrigger Hotels & Resorts Invitational in early February. The Bows and the Eaters will play three matches this year so there will be no controversy in who will win the Pineapple Orange Crate.

In total, Hawai’i will play seven matches versus MPSF schools, three matches versus EIVA schools, and two each against ConfCarolinas, MIVA, and Independent schools. Three of these matches will be against teams that won their conference tournaments (Lewis – MIVA, Pepperdine – MPSF, Lincoln Memorial – IVA).

2020 Hawai’i Schedule

Friday, Jan. 3, vs. Charleston
Saturday, Jan. 4, vs. Charleston
Thursday, Jan. 9, vs Emmanuel
Friday, Jan. 10, vs. Harvard
Saturday, Jan. 11, vs. Grand Canyon
Friday, Jan. 17, at Lewis
Saturday, Jan. 18, at Loyola
Monday, Jan. 20, at Lincoln Memorial
Tuesday, Jan. 21, at King
Thursday, Feb. 6, vs. Queens
Friday, Feb. 7, vs. Concordia-Irvine
Saturday, Feb. 8, vs. UC Irvine
Friday, Feb. 14, at Stanford
Saturday, Feb. 15, at Stanford
Wednesday, Feb. 26, vs. Nittaidai (Exhibition)
Friday, Feb. 28, vs. Nittaidai (Exhibition)
Thursday, March 5, vs. BYU
Friday, March 6, vs. BYU
Friday, March 13, at CSUN
Saturday, March 14, at CSUN
Tuesday, March 17, at Pepperdine
Friday, March 27, vs. UC San Diego
Saturday, March 28, vs. UC San Diego
Friday, April 3, vs. Long Beach State
Saturday, April 4, vs. Long Beach State
Friday, April 10, at UC Santa Barbara 
Saturday, April 11, at UC Santa Barbara
Friday, April 17, vs UC Irvine
Saturday, April 18, vs UC Irvine