They were denied last year, but not Saturday.
Top-seeded Hawai’i blasted second-seeded BYU 25-21, 25-19, 25-16 to win the NCAA’s National Collegiate Men’s Volleyball Championship, capturing the first men’s volleyball title in program history and the first NCAA team title for the school since 1987.
Hawai’i finished 17-1 with its only loss in the Big West tournament semifinals to UC San Diego. The Rainbow Warriors then swept another Big West team, UC Santa Barbara Thursday in the national semfinals.
Against BYU, Hawai’i hit .381 — the team hit .360 for the season — as five players had six or more kills. Rado Parapunov led with 13 as he hit .357 and had three assists, two blocks, and seven digs.
Patrick Gasman had seven kills and hit .545 after having one error in 11 attacks to go with two blocks. Colton Cowell also had seven kills and had three aces, two blocks, and three digs. Chaz Galloway had six kills in nine errorless swings, a block, and five digs, and Guilherme Voss also had six kills in nine errorless attacks, an assist, and three blocks.
Setter Jakob Thelle had two kills in four errorless attempts, 36 assists, four aces, a block, and three digs. Gage Worsley had seven digs and two assists.
Hawai’i was making its four appearance in the NCAA title-match appearance. The program won the 2002 crown but had it stripped by the NCAA for using an ineligible player.
The Rainbow Warriors lost to Long Beach State in the last NCAA title match played, in 2019, and also advanced to the 1996 final.
BYU, which hit .363, got 12 kills from Gabi Garcia Fernandez, who had four blocks and four digs. Zach Eschenberg, who had four blocks and five digs, and Davide Gardini had seven kills each. Wil Stanley had two kills in as many tries, 29 assists, an ace, and four digs.
“Hats off to the University of Hawaii,” BYU coach Shawn Olmstead said. “They were a little more composed from the service line and in reception and, for some reason, we just seemed to get a little rattled.
“Credit to them.”
BYU, the MPSF champion, has won three times, in 1999, 2001, and 2004. The Cougars also made it to the championship match in 2003, 2013, 2016, and 2017.