2021 Big West Preview: Hawai’i

Photo courtesy of Hawai’i athletics

Jonathan Bates / Brandon Johnson

With the first match of 2021 involving Big West teams less than a week away, Off the Block will be previewing each of the conference’s six teams. The Big West finished last year with the best non-conference record of any NCAA Division I/II conference, and currently have five teams ranked in both the AVCA coaches poll and the Off the Block media poll. Today, we end our installment by previewing Hawai’i, who was picked No. 1 in the conference’s preseason coaches poll.


Final 2020 Poll Rankings: 2/2
2020 Record: 15-1, 0-0 Big West

2020 Team Stats Rankings
● No. 1 nationally in attack percentage (.371)
● No. 2 nationally in kills per game (13.52 kills per game) and aces per game (1.90)
● No. 3 nationally in blocks per game (2.74 blocks per game)
● No. 4 nationally in assists per game (12.48 assists per game)
● No. 6 nationally in opponent attack percentage (.206)


2020 Individual Stats Rankings
● Opposite – Rado Parapunov – No. 2 nationally with 4.47 kills per game
● Middle attacker – Patrick Gasman – No. 7 nationally with 1.20 blocks per game
● Middle attacker – Guilherme Voss – No. 10 nationally with 1.132 blocks per game

2020 Individual Awards
● Libero – Gage Worsley (AVCA All-American First Team, Erik Shoji Award Winner, Steve Shondell Award Winner)
● Opposite – Rado Parapunov (AVCA All-American First Team, Nicolas Szerszen Award)
● Outside attacker – Colton Cowell (AVCA All-American Second Team)
● Middle attacker – Patrick Gasman (AVCA All-American Second Team)
● Middle attacker – Guilherme Voss (Freshman All-American)

2021 Preseason All-Americans
● Opposite – Rado Parapunov (First Team)
● Libero – Gage Worsley (First Team)
● Middle attacker – Patrick Gasman (Second Team)
● Outside attacker – Colton Cowell (Second Team)

Lost off last year’s team
● Outside attacker – James Anastassiades
● Outside attacker – Garrett Geiger
● Outside attacker – Kahea Kamalani
● Middle attacker/Opposite – Danny Wong

New incoming players
● Outside attacker – Kana‘i Akana (transfer from BYU)
● Setter – Austin Buchanan
● Outside attacker – Spyros Chakas
● Outside attacker – Makua Marumoto
● Libero – Logan Sharp
● Setter – Jack Walmer

Returning starters
● Setter – Jakob Thelle/Brett Sheward
● Opposite – Rado Parapunov
● Middle attacker – Patrick Gasman
● Middle attacker – Guilherme Voss
● Outside attacker– Filip Humler
● Outside attacker – Colton Cowell
● Libero – Gage Worsley

Returning Production
● Kills: 96.9%
● Assists: 99.1%
● Aces: 87.9%
● Digs: 95.5%
● Blocks: 94.4%

Brandon’s Preview and Bold Prediction
On paper, Hawai’i appears to be a juggernaut, with All-Americans at nearly every position. And while big names such as Gage Worsley and Rado Parapunov are considered amongst the best in the game at their respective positions, and will no doubt bring home AVCA First Team All-American honors, the national title hopes of the Rainbow Warriors might ultimately fall on the success of of the talented surrounding class. Colton Cowell and Filip Humler will look to carry on from a strong 2020 season, and Hawai’i appears to be solid at the setter position with Brett Sheward and Jakob Thelle each seeing playing time last year. Parapunov will continue to be the main focus of defenses, after averaging an astounding 4.47 kills per game in 2020, which was the second highest number in the country. It is not out of the realm of possibility to see that number continue to climb towards and past the 5 kills per game threshold.