The top-ranked Hawaii men’s volleyball team opened the 2020 season with a 25-19, 25-16, 25-16 victory against first-time opponent Charleston tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center.
UH, playing officially for the first time since its loss to Long Beach State in the 2019 NCAA championship match, earned its seventh straight win in a season opener and defended its home floor for the 17th straight time in front of 3,217 people.
Making the first start of his career as the successor to All-America setter Joe Worsley, sophomore Jakob Thelle had 22 assists. Seniors Rado Parapunov (nine kills, .312 hitting) and Colton Cowell (10, .444) carried the offensive workload as the Rainbow Warriors outhit the Golden Eagles of West Virginia .450 to .246.
UH came out tentatively in its season debut but steadily gained steam as the night went on.
The Warriors trailed the Golden Eagles of West Virginia 12-9 in Set 1 before asserting control, with All-America middle Patrick Gasman launching consecutive service aces to key a 16-6 run.
Set 2 was all Hawaii, with UH jumping out to a 9-3 lead and 11th-year coach Charlie Wade able to insert some of his backups. Redshirt freshman Brett Sheward took over serving duties to close the frame.
It was more of the same in Set 3, as sophomore middle Max Rosenfeld got in on the action with an ace to make it 13-7. UH’s third setter, junior Jackson Van Eekeren, took the controls. A tip shot by freshman Guilherme Voss set up match point
The teams rematch on Saturday night at 7.