Nov. 23, 2009
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Volleyball junior Paola Ampudia (Cali, Colombia) earned her fourth Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honor of the season as announced by the Big 12 office on Monday (Nov. 23). Ampudia paced the Tigers with 32 kills against Texas Tech and No. 8 Iowa State and finished both of those matches just one dig shy of a kill-dig double-double. Ampudia joins Nebraska's Hannah Werth, Texas' Destinee Hooker and Iowa State's Ashley Mass as the only four players to take home at least five Big 12 weekly honors this season. Two of those three are All-Americans, putting Ampudia in some elite company. The laurel is Ampudia's first since earning Big 12 Player of the Week on Oct. 26.
Ampudia's 32 kills last week were 15 more than any other Tiger. To go along with that, Ampudia collected 18 total digs on the week - nine in each match - and posted seven total blocks, good for 1.17 per set. She accounted more than one-third of Mizzou's 101.0 total points on the week as she finished the week with 35.5. Ampudia helped Mizzou keep its NCAA Tournament hopes alive, guiding it to a 1-1 record last week. She led the team in kills, blocks, total points and was second in digs, behind only libero Caitlyn Vann (Muncie, Ind.).
Over the last seven weeks, Ampudia has been the Big 12 kills leader with 236 in the last 14 matches, eight more than UT's Destinee Hooker, who was the league's Preseason Player of the Year. Ampudia looks to be the clear favorite to take home Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, the same award that she was given in the preseason.
Ampudia and the Tigers face a pivotal showdown with Baylor this Wednesday at the Hearnes Center. The match is slated for a 6:30 p.m. start time. Mizzou will honor its two seniors - Amanda Hantouli (Omaha, Neb.) and Lei Wang-Francisco (Shanghai, China) - at the match. Fans are encouraged to come honor the Tiger seniors and cheer on Mizzou as it looks to earn it ninth NCAA Tournament berth in 10 seasons. For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to www.MUTigers.com.