HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - When the lights are bright and the Stan Sheriff Center is near capacity, Rado Parapunov is at his best for the Rainbow Warrior volleyball team. As for talking to the media about his stellar play, the Bulgarian native shows humility and, for the first time, a tad of anxiety.
“This is my first time,” Parapunov said of participating in the weekly media scrum ahead of Hawaii’s road trip to the east coast. “I’m actually nervous.”
After a 15-kill performance against USC on January 12th, Rainbow Warrior outside hitter Rado Parapunov didn’t show any nerves over the weekend against No. 8 Stanford, recording 27 kills over six sets of play, including a 17-kill showcase on Friday night.
A junior, Parapunov has developed into one of the nation’s most prolific outside hitters with a hitting percentage of .475. But what appears to be an impressive stat in the box score is really just a number for Parapunov, who sees his success hitting at the net as a direct result of the way his teammates set him up for success.
“The numbers are just numbers. Our passing is led by Gage Worsley, Stijn (van Tilburg), Colten (Cowell) and of course our setting with Joe Worsley … I’m the last person,” Parapunov said. “There are a lot of guys before me doing their job perfectly so I can just get the kill.”
Parapunov’s systematic approach to hitting sounds easy, and he makes it look that way at times. At 5-0 coming off back-to-back sweeps over Stanford, the No. 2-ranked Warriors are surpassing preseason expectations having not dropped a single set thus far.
“Our team has worked really hard to be where we are today,” Parapunov said. “And I think our leaders are probably the greatest leaders that I’ve ever played with.”
Parapunov and the rest of Hawaii’s leadership council will head to the east coast to take on Queens this Thursday, February 7th. First serve is set for 2:30 p.m. HT.