Maldonado Diaz Named AVCA Pacific South Region Freshman of the Year
TUCSON, Ariz. -- After being named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, outside hitter Sofia Maldonado Diaz collected her second top rookie honor on Tuesday when she was named AVCA Pacific South Region Freshman of the Year. She was also named honorable mention all-Pacific South Region.
Maldonado Diaz is Arizona's first region freshman of the year since Kim Glass in 2002.
THE MALDONADO DIAZ FILE (as of April 13)
- Pac-12 Freshman of the Year
- AVCA Pacific South Region Freshman of the Year
- Pac-12 All-Freshman
- AVCA All-Pacific South Region Honorable Mention
- Pac-12 freshman leader in kills/set (3.63)
- Pac-12 freshman leader in aces/set (0.37)
Maldonado Diaz finished the regular season as the top freshman in the Pac-12 in both kills/set (3.63) and aces/set (0.37). Her 272 total kills ranked fourth most in the Pac-12 and her 28 aces were tied for most in the Pac-12.
The Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico native posted double digit kills in 16 of UA's 21 matches -- including a pair of 20-plus-kill outings -- and led UA in kills in 15 of Arizona's last 19 matches. In her fourth career match, Maldonado Diaz had 25 kills on .439 hitting, the most kills by an Arizona freshman since Nov. 7, 2007, and the first 25-kill, .400 hitting match by any Wildcat since Oct. 8, 2010.
Maldonado Diaz was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week three times during the season, setting the UA record for weekly conference awards earned in a single season. She picked up her first honor in week 3 after averaging 5.00 kills on .356 hitting in two matches vs. Washington. In week 6, she picked up her second award when she averaged 5.71 kills/set in UA's sweep of Oregon State. Finally, she picked up her third weekly nod when she averaged 1.33 aces and a team-most 2.83 kills/set in Arizona's road sweep of California.
Maldonado Diaz became the first Wildcat freshman since Kim Glass in 2002 to average more than 3.5 kills/set. Her 3.63 kills/set rank third in Arizona history behind Kim Glass (4.96 - 2002) and Barb Bell (3.79 - 1993). Despite playing a shortened season, Maldonado Diaz posted 272 total kills over 21 matches, tied for 10th most by a freshman in UA history.
In addition to her team-best 3.63 kills/set and 0.37 aces/set, Maldonado Diaz was also an asset on the defensive end, averaging 1.41 digs and 0.36 blocks per set.