Arizona is Madi’s Kingdom

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Emily Gauci | The Daily Wildcat

Arizona sand volleyball senior Madi Kingdon lobs the ball during Arizona's 5-0 victory over New Mexico on Saturday at Jimenez Field. Kingdon has emerged as a leader for sand volleyball after leading the indoor volleyball team for four seasons.

Arizona volleyball player Madi Kingdon is arguably one of the most successful female athletes currently at the UA. Not only has she had success on sand, but also dominates during the indoor volleyball season.

In her four years at Arizona, Kingdon has been a key component of the volleyball program’s success.

She was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team in 2011, as well as the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational all-tournament team. She also led the team in kills in over half of the matches she played.

Kingdon earned Pac-12 honorable mention all-conference honors in her sophomore season. She led the team in kills and points and was the only player to start in all 31 matches that season.

Kingdon’s junior season ended with even more honors as she was named to the All-Pac-12 Team, earned American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Region honors and was an AVCA All-American honorable mention. Kingdon also led the Pac-12 Conference in points.

She also conquered new territory her junior year, as she decided to be a part of the newly established sand volleyball program at Arizona, coached by Steve Walker, who played a large part in her recruitment to Arizona.

“When I first got here, Steve kind of recruited me to indoor and was a part of that process,” Kingdon said. “I really like Steve as a coach, so I was really excited playing on a team for him again.”

Walker said he and indoor volleyball coach Dave Rubio recruited Kingdon because she is an individual that can help the team win at the highest level.

“She is an outstanding athlete with a really fast jump and dynamic ability to score offensively,” Walker said. “And she’s really rounded out her skill set as she’s been here.”

Kingdon ended up with a 19-15 individual record during the inaugural season for sand volleyball.

Kingdon was named third-team AVCA All-American for indoor volleyball in her senior season. She also continued to lead the team in kills and helped the team to their best record in almost a decade (24-10). Kingdon also led the nation in attacks and has played in more matches than any other player in Arizona history.

The Wildcats’ sand volleyball season isn’t over, and Kingdon continues to prove why she is a part of the Wildcats’ No. 1 team, along with partner Kaitlyn Leary. The duo has dominated the sand this season and has served as role models for the younger players.

“Along with her partner Kaitlyn, she’s been a really nice leader by example,” Walker said. “I like how she just performs, regardless of what the score is. I like that about her and hope that it’s something she can pass on to the younger players.”

Leary is a newcomer to both Arizona and sand volleyball this season. She said Kingdon has been fun to play with and has helped her transition to sand.

“We get along on and off the court; she’s obviously a high-level player, so it’s been fun to play with someone that has that much skill,” Leary said. “She helps me on the court and during play making adjustments in my skills, letting me know if my sets are on or off. We just do a lot of communicating, so that’s been helpful.”

As Walker said, Kingdon has been a fabulous Wildcat. Surely, Arizona is going to miss Kingdon come May when she moves on to the next chapter in her life, but she intends to stay in the volleyball community and has ambitions of playing at the next level.

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