Kingdon spikes competition for Wildcats volleyball
Not only is junior Madi Kingdon arguably Arizona indoor volleyball’s best player, the younger players also look up to the 6-foot-1 outside hitter.
Kingdon has been a top offensive threat for Arizona her whole career. In her freshman season, she was named to the All Pac-12 freshman team and had 358 kills. In her sophomore season, she finished eighth in the conference with 443 kills.
“Personally, as a setter, I love setting Madi; she never really downgrades me,” freshman setter Penina Snuka said.
Kingdon is the reigning Pac-12 offensive player of the week, after winning MVP of the Wildcat Classic. Kingdon’s player of the week is Arizona volleyball’s first since Tiffany Owens won one in 2010.
Ryan Revock / The Daily Wildcat Madi Kingdon spikes the ball against Wofford on Saturday. The Wildcats went 3-0 for the win.
While Kingdon is a good overall player, head coach Dave Rubio said he thinks there is room for improvement.
“Her skills have improved dramatically from even last year,” Rubio said. “[She] has greater range, hits with more velocity, her blocking is much better… [But] I think her passing needs to continue to get better.”
Going into Tuesday night’s match with ASU, Kingdon led the team in kills with 182 — almost 100 more than the next highest.
Another part of her game that has greatly improved is her defense. Through 12 matches, she tallied 135 digs — second on the team — and had 35 total blocks.
“I just think that since the season has started, I’ve been more focused on [defense],” Kingdon said.
This past summer, Kingdon played in China for the Pac-12 all-star team. The all-star team, which included 12 other Pac-12 players, competed for two weeks against six Chinese teams.
“The experience of playing with different girls and girls that were at my skill level just showed me what they were doing, and I just took that back here and applied it to my game,” Kingdon said.
Junior outside hitter Jane Croson, who transferred to the UA from Hawaii, has taken a lot of pressure off of Kingdon this season.
“Madi [Kingdon] is an awesome player; she really evens me out,” Croson said. “I know I can count on her when I have a bad practice or a bad game. I just think it’s nice to have that shoulder to lean on.”
Kingdon is from Phoenix, and her older brother is a graduate of ASU.
“I love the experience of Arizona. I’m glad I chose Arizona as my college,” Kingdon said. “I think my experience here has been great … so far. I feel like every year, I’ve gotten better and better.”
—Follow Derek Evans @DerekEvans20