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Arizona volleyball’s Sofia Maldonado Diaz in portal, exploring options

Arizona v Arizona State Photo by Bruce Yeung/Getty Images

Arizona volleyball’s outside hitter/opposite Sofia Maldonado Diaz is still not 100 percent sure that she won’t return to the Wildcats for her fifth season. As of now, though, she’s keeping her options open. Arizona confirmed that Maldonado Diaz is in the transfer portal and currently has two visits scheduled at other schools, but there is still a slight chance that she competes in Tucson one more year.

Maldonado Diaz stormed onto the scene as a freshman in the pandemic-delayed 2020 season that was held in the spring of 2021. She was the 2020 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. Her 3.63 kills per set were third among Arizona freshmen in program history. As a rookie, she was tops among conference freshmen not only in kills per set but also total kills (272) and aces per set (0.37).

Maldonado Diaz continued to be an offensive force for Arizona throughout her four-year career. She led the team in kills and kills per set as both a junior and senior. Her 1,393 career kills are eighth in program history. The 3.31 kills per set she has averaged over her career ranks 10th in the Arizona record book. She has also been a top server, leading or finishing second on the team in aces and aces per set each of her four years.

However, the team has not had a great deal of success during her time in Tucson. The Wildcats have not appeared in the NCAA Tournament over the four-year span. Their only postseason appearance was in the NIVC after the 2021 season. They were eliminated in the second round by eventual champions UNLV.

While Maldonado Diaz could still return to Arizona, she is planning to visit Tennessee and has one other visit scheduled. She may also choose to go pro rather than play her fifth year in college. As of now, the Wildcats do not have a scholarship available for her next season.

She is completing her degree at Arizona this semester and the program’s Instagram story has shown her practicing with the team during offseason training.

Fellow senior outside hitter Jaelyn Hodge announced that she would return to Arizona for her final season just over two weeks ago.