Rado Parapunov was named the Big West Conference’s Player of the Year for the abbreviated 2020 season today, becoming the first member of Hawaii men’s volleyball to receive a league’s top individual award since 2003.
Parapunov, a senior opposite from Bulgaria, averaged a BWC-best 4.47 kills per set and hit .377 on the year, fifth-best in the conference.
UH’s season was cut short due to the coronavirus threat just before the Rainbow Warriors would have played their first conference match at Cal State Northridge on March 13.
UH finished at 15-1 with a No. 2 ranking by the AVCA. It split its final two matches of the season with then-No. 2 BYU at the Stan Sheriff Center, with the Rainbows rallying for a reverse sweep of the Cougars in what would be the season finale on March 6. Parapunov put down a career-high 30 kills in the comeback.
The only previous UH men’s volleyball player to receive conference player of the year honors was Costas Theocharidis in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation of 2001 and 2003.
Parapunov was joined on the 14-player Big West first team by senior hitter Colton Cowell, senior middle Patrick Gasman and junior libero Gage Worsley.
UH placed three players on the seven-member BWC All-Freshman team — hitter Chaz Galloway, setter Brett Sheward and middle Guilherme Voss.
UC Santa Barbara’s Rick McLaughlin was named BWC Coach of the Year for the third-ranked Gauchos.