League-high Seven Rainbow Warriors selected to All-MPSF teams

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The University of Hawai’i men’s volleyball team placed a league-high seven players on the All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation teams, which was announced Thursday.All-MPSF Teams  |  Purchase MPSF Quarterfinal Tickets Online

Sophomore opposite Stijn van Tilburg and senior setter Jennings Franciskovic were selected to the first team while sophomore libero Larry Tuileta and senior middle blocker Hendrik Mol were named to the second team. Senior outside hitter Kupono Fey was an honorable mention pick and middle blocker Patrick Gasman and opposite Rado Parapunov were placed on the All-Freshman team.

Long Beach State, the regular season co-champions with BYU, placed six members on the all-MPSF teams with sophomore outside hitter TJ DeFalco being named the league’s Player of the Year. UC Irvine freshman middle Scott Stadick was the Freshman of the Year.

Van Tilburg and Franciskovic each earned their second all-MPSF recognition. Last season, van Tilburg was an honorable mention pick and was named to the all-freshman team. In 2015, Franciskovic, the league’s reigning Player of the Week, was a second-team selection.

Van Tilburg ranks third nationally in kills per set (4.32) and 11th in hitting percentage (.382). He cracked double-figure in kills in 19 matches this season. Franciskovic is on pace to post career-high averages in kills (0.69), aces (0.25), and digs (1.52) while also averaging 10.06 assists per set that ranks No. 9 nationally.

In his first season with UH after transferring from USC, Tuileta has helped the Warriors to a No. 5 national ranking in digs per set. The Honolulu native ranks fifth in the MPSF in digs (2.41) and has reached double-figures 10 times this season. Mol leads the team with 14 block solos and has career-best averages of 1.45 kills, 1.05 blocks, and a .425 hitting percentage.

During the second half of the regular season, Fey has posted nine double-figure kill totals in 12 matches. The team’s most consistent passer, the Honolulu native is averaging 2.57 kills, 1.32 digs, and 0.47 blocks per set. Gasman has been a force in the middle for the Warriors and leads the team with a 1.09 blocks per set average. The redshirt frosh is also averaging 1.52 kills per set on .405 hitting. In just five starts, Parapunov has shown flashes of brilliance and it was on full display in the final week of the regular season as he led the Warriors to a two-match sweep of UCLA in Los Angeles.

The fourth-ranked Warriors host No. 8 Pepperdine Saturday in a MPSF Tournament quarterfinal round matchup at the Stan Sheriff Center. UH swept both matches against the Waves in the regular season. Tickets for Saturday’s match are still available online (www.etickethawaii.com), at the Stan Sheriff Center Box Office (Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.), or by calling 944-2697. The match is a “Whiteout” so fans are encouraged to wear white shirts.

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