Off the Block selected the top seniors in college men’s volleyball and seeded them into a bracket, and it is up to the fans to determine who should win the 2020 Top of the Class Tournament.
The Top of the Class Tournament is a bracket-style, five-round event pairing the best seniors from NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball teams against each other. The senior in each match-up who had the best college career as decided by the fans will advance to the next round.
The tournament concludes today with the regional finals. Online voting for these first-round matches will end at 10 p.m. (CST) Tuesday.
Off the Block was established in 2011 and is the nation’s leaders in college men’s volleyball coverage.
Rado Parapunov, Hawai’i (2017-2020)
Career stats: 986 kills (3.57 kills per game), .349 attack percentage, 91 aces (0.33 aces per game), 212 blocks (0.77 blocks per game).
Achievements/honors: 2019 Bryan Ivie Award winner, 2019 International Player of the Year, 2019 First-Team All-American, 2019 First-Team All-Big West, 2019 NCAA All-Tournament Team, 2018 All-Big West Honorable Mention, 2017 Freshman All-MPSF
Player bio: Parapunov finished last season in the nation’s top 10 with both a 4.07 kills per game average and a .420 attack percentage as he helped the Rainbow Warriors reach the NCAA Tournament finals. The opposite in 2020 was second in the nation averaging 4.47 kills per game and in the nation’s top 15 hitting .377 and led Hawai’i to the No. 1 national ranking for the majority of the shortened season.
Jackson Gilbert, North Greenville (Coker 2017; North Greenville 2018-20)
Career stats: 953 kills, 162 blocks, 114 aces, 322 digs
Achievements/honors: 2019 Second-Team All-ConfCarolinas, 2018 Third-Team All-ConfCarolinas
Player bio: Gilbert in his senior season was third in the ConfCarolinas with a 3.68 kills per game average, including a team-high 18 kills on a .341 attack percentage in an upset victory against No. 10/9 Grand Canyon. He also was sixth in the conference with 3.29 kills per game average in 2019 and helped lead the Crusaders to their first postseason victory in program history. Along with his offensive performance, Gilbert in 2020 had a conference-best 0.63 aces per game average — his second straight season in the ConfCarolinas top 10 for aces.
Ben Hamsho, North Greenville (2017-20)
Career stats: 630 kills, 80 aces, 116 digs, 0.76 blocks per game
Achievements/honors: Led 2020 North Greenville in aces per game, blocks per game and attack percentage
Player bio: Hamsho in his senior season was among the nation’s leaders with career-best .309 attack percentage. Among his top performances that season included a season-high 14 kills in an upset victory against No. 10/9 Grand Canyon. The middle attacker also had at least 50 blocks in all four seasons, including being in the ConfCarolinas top 15 last season with a 0.80 blocks per game average.
Don Thompson, Emmanuel (2017-20)
Career stats: 930 kills (2.68 kills per game), .315 attack percentage, 265 digs, 211 blocks
Achievements/honors: 2019 Second-Team All-ConfCarolinas
Player bio: Thompson was among the ConfCarolinas and national leaders in 2020 with a 3.47 kills per game average, including having a career-high 33 kills in a five-game victory against Limestone in January. The senior played middle attacker and opposite throughout his career and hit more than .300 in each of his first three seasons. He also was in the conference’s top 10 with a 0.81 blocks per game average in 2019.