UH men's volleyball takes Rainbow Warrior Classic title
HONOLULU – The No. 1 University of Hawaii men's volleyball captured its third consecutive Raising Cane's Rainbow Warrior Classic title following a straight-set win over Grand Canyon Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 25-15, 25-20, 25-13.
The Rainbow Warriors (5-0) took the title by sweeping all three matches in the tournament over Emmanuel, Harvard, and GCU. UH has won all five of its matches in straight sets this season and extended its home win streak to 22. Hawai'i also remained perfect in the third annual tournament winning all nine matches in straight sets dating back to 2018.
Tournament Most Outstanding Player Rado Parapunov had a match-high 13 kills, hitting .579 with two aces and three blocks. Leading attacker Colton Cowell was nursing a leg injury and fellow senior James Anastassiades started in his place. The Huntington Beach, Calif., native finished with four kills, one ace, two digs, and one block.
Also named to the all-tournament team were middle blocker Patrick Gasman, who tallied nine kills and five blocks and setter Jakob Thelle, who dished out 32 assists and led the Warriors to a team hitting percentage of .523. Cowell, UH's leader in kills in its first two tournament matches, was also named to the all-tourney team.
GCU (1-2) was led by Christian Janke, who had nine kills and four aces. Camden Gianni, who was named all-tournament, added seven kills and four digs.
UH jumped out to a 9-3 lead to start Set 1, which included two failed GCU challenge attempts. More hitting errors by the Lopes extended the Warrior lead to 15-8 at the media timeout. GCU got as close as four but it was all Hawai'i in the opening set. UH hit .632 with three blocks and limited the Lopes to .038 hitting.
The teams traded points for the early part of Set 2 until the Warriors scored five straight for a 13-8 lead. A Parapunov ace followed by a Gasman block spurred another 4-0 run that put UH on top 18-11 and all but sealed the game.
UH took a 6-3 to start Set 3 behind the serving of Gasman. More tough serving by Anastassiades led to five unanswered and a 13-5 lead. The Warriors extended the lead to double-digits after Humler's ace – one of five in the set for UH – before the Lopes' Christian Janke served three straight aces to pull them within six at 19-13. But another Gasman ace was part of a 6-0 run to close out the match capped by Parapunov's 13th and final kill.
In the day's earlier match, Harvard defeated Emmanuel, 25-11, 25-16, 25-15 to finish the tournament in second place at 2-1. Campbell Schoenfeld had a match-high 10 kills for the Crimson and was named to the all-tournament team. Emmanuel's Don Thompson, a King Kekaulike High graduate in Maui, was also named to the all-tourney team.
The Warriors will next hit the road for four matches in five days beginning with a rematch of last year's NCAA Championship semifinals against Lewis, Friday, Jan. 17 in Romeoville, Ill. On the trip, UH will also face Loyola, Saturday, Jan. 18; Lincoln Memorial, Jan. 20; and King, Jan. 21.