Hawai’i opposite Parapunov named 2019 International Player of Year

The top opposite in the nation is also the top international player in college men’s volleyball.

Off the Block announced Friday that a nationwide voting committee selected Hawai’i opposite Rado Parapunov as the 2019 International Player of the Year.

The International Player of the Year is presented to the best non-U.S. born player in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball during the regular season. This is the only national award in college men’s volleyball recognizing the outstanding individual performances of international players who are pursuing their volleyball career and higher education in the United States.

Parapunov with a 4.14 kills per game average and a .432 attack percentage entering the NCAA Tournament was the only player in the nation’s top 10 for both of those offensive categories. The Bulgaria native also had three consecutive Big West matches with at least 20 kills, including 20 kills and hitting .552 in a sweep of UC Santa Barbara on April 5.


Along with offensive performance, Parapunov was eighth in the country averaging 0.48 aces per game as he helped the Rainbow Warriors reach the NCAA Tournament finals.

The voting committee for the International Player of the Year was comprised of about 20 college men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball reporters from around the nation.

The top three vote-getters were named finalists for this national honor.

Parapunov, who also win the Bryan Ivie Award as the nation’s top opposite, received 47 votes to edge out his teammate and outside attacker Stijn van Tilburg by 21 votes for the International Player of the Year. The other finalist UCLA middle attacker Daemen Gyimah finished in third place with 17 votes.

This is the third year that Off the Block has presented the International Player of the year. Former Ohio State All-American outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen won the award the first two seasons.

Off the Block is a national award winning website that launched in 2011 and is the nation’s leader in college men’s volleyball coverage.

2019 International Player of the Year voting results

1. Rado Parapunov, Hawai’i — 47 points
2. Stijn van Tilburg, Hawai’i — 26 points
3. Daenen Gyimah, UCLA — 17 points
4. Angelos Mandilaris, Barton — 13 points
T-5. Dimitar Kalchev, CSUN — 1 point
T-5. Davide Gardini, BYU — 1 point