For the second straight season, Arizona volleyball has one of the best freshmen in the Pac-12. First-year opposite Puk Stubbe was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team on Monday. Last season, outside hitter Sofia Maldonado Diaz was the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.
In addition to Stubbe’s honor, both Maldonado Diaz and junior libero Kamaile Hiapo were named All-Pac-12 honorable mention.
Stubbe was a late addition to the Wildcats’ roster, arriving in Tucson just weeks before the season started. The former member of the Dutch national beach volleyball team immediately stepped into a starting role for Arizona. She ended the regular season with 271 total kills, an average of 2.56 k/s. Her kills per set place her 10th among freshmen in program history, and she led all Pac-12 freshmen in kills this year.
After coming storming out of the gates as a freshman, Maldonado Diaz followed up with a solid sophomore year. She was second on the team with 3.09 k/s and 334 total kills, finishing just behind fellow sophomore Jaelyn Hodge (3.19/338) in both categories. She led the team in aces per set with 0.35 which ranks sixth in the Pac-12. Her 38 total aces placed her fourth. Her skill from the service line set a program record for aces in a match when she served six against UC San Diego.
Hiapo earned her first postseason honor with her selection to the honorable mention list. She had 399 total digs and averaged 3.66 digs per set which places her ninth in program history. On Nov. 12 she became just the third player in Arizona history to reach 1,000 digs in just three seasons. It was even more impressive since one of those seasons was the pandemic-shortened campaign. She ended the regular season sixth in the conference in total digs and seventh in digs per set.
The three honorees and their teammates are not done playing this year. The Wildcats will open their postseason competition in the Women’s National Invitational Volleyball Championship at McKale Center on Dec. 3 against Texas-Rio Grande Valley.