(TUCSON, AZ) – TUCSON, Ariz. — For the second straight week, Arizona freshman libero Kamaile Hiapo has been named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week, the conference announced on Monday.
Hiapo is the first player in Arizona history to receive back-to-back weekly conference awards — Player (awarded from 1986-2011), Offensive Player, Defensive Player or Freshman — in school history.
The freshman was had another huge weekend, totaling 42 digs in Arizona’s weekend split vs. a pair of ranked teams; the Cats fell in four sets to No. 10 Washington before defeating No. 22 Washington State in four. She averaged 5.25 digs/set on the weekend.
Hiapo had at least 18 digs in both matches, including a 24-dig outing vs. the Cougars, her fourth 20-plus dig match this season. She added 11 assists (1.38/set) on the weekend.
Earlier this season, Hiapo was forced into playing outside hitter for eight matches due to concussions to two of Arizona’s outside hitters. However, Hiapo has returned to her natural position of libero for the last four matches, and has now earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors in both weeks since returning exclusively to the back row. Over the last two weeks, Arizona is 3-1 and Hiapo is averaging 5.13 digs/set. Hiapo is Arizona’s first freshman since Penina Snuka (2013) to earn Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors.
With 42 digs this week, Hiapo brought her season total to 343, just 27 behind Candace Nicholson (2010) for Arizona’s all-time freshman digs record.
On the season, Hiapo leads the Wildcats and is 10th in the Pac-12, averaging 3.46 digs/set despite playing a trio of positions — libero, defensive specialist and outside hitter — while simultaneously battling a hamstring injury suffered Sept. 28 at USC.
UP NEXT: Hiapo and the Wildcats are home for the final two times this season, closing out the 2019 season vs. UCLA on Wednesday and Arizona State on Saturday at McKale Center.
Courtesy of Danny Martinez – Arizona Communication Services