The University of Hawaii men’s volleyball team will close out the 2021 regular season schedule this weekend with a two match series against UC Irvine, serving as a senior series celebration for a star-studded class.
Among the players that will be honored will be libero Gage Worsley, who although listed as a junior is in his fourth year in the program following the eligibility waiver granted by the NCAA amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The All-American confirmed on Tuesday that he will not return for a fifth season at UH and will join Colton Cowell, Rado Parapunov, Patrick Gasman, Jackson Van Eekeren, and James Anastassiades in the Senior Night festivities on Saturday.
“It was a combination of just my mom, talking to my dad, future opportunities that could be a possibility and just where I was in my career, and where I felt the best way to kind of wrap it all up would be,” said Worsley. “Financially kind of went into a part of it and obviously I want to go after this year and play over seas and eventually in the USA stuff and I think that graduating was the best opportunity for me to accomplish those goals.”
Worsley, had a phenomonal third year in the program in 2019 earning AVCA All-America first team for the second consecutive year while being selected as a first-team all-Big West honoree. After the season was cut short, Worsley was the recipent of Off the Block’s Erik Shoji Award as the nation’s best libero for the second year in a row and the inaugural Steve Shondell Award as the nation’s best passer. Since then he has continued to earn the status as college volleyball’s most electric defensive players, having totaled 108 digs in 46 sets played. According to Worsley, he’s looking forward to the weekend to honor the class, especially knowing that it’s not a true farewell just yet.
“I’m in a lucky position because this series aren’t our last games at the Stan because we’re hosting the Big West Tournament, it’s one of those things that we get to celebrate the time obviously, but taking a weekend and series of games here to kind of appreciate all that has happened. My development, my team’s development, just with the state of Hawaii is something that you can’t take for granted.”
The Rainbow Warriors at 13-0, 8-0 in the Big West Conference have already locked up the BWC’s regular season crown, a first for the program in four decades.
With two wins this week, UH can finish the regular season with an undefeated record for the first time in program history. Hawai’i can also finish with an unbeaten conference record which has happened only twice in program history – 1980 (10-0 in WCVC) and 1996 (19-0 in MPSF).
The two match series between the ‘Bows and the Ant Eaters will be played Friday and Saturday at SimpliFi Arena with both matches starting at 7:00 pm and will be televised on Spectrum Sports.