Dec. 30, 2010
COLUMBIA, Mo. - After putting together an impressive two-year career at Mizzou, All-American Paola Ampudia (Cali, Colombia) will continue her volleyball career professionally as a member of the Ponce Lions, a team based out of Puerto Rico in the Female Superior Volleyball League. Ampudia will have a Mizzou connection in Puerto Rico as she will play in the same league as former Tiger All-American setter Lindsey Hunter, who will play for Valencianas De Juncos. The league will begin play on Jan. 26. The league features 10 teams with every squad playing at least one match against each team in the league.
After transferring to Mizzou before the 2009 season as the National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA) Player of the Year, Ampudia put together one of the finest two-year runs in program history. In 2010 alone, she was named honorable mention All-America, was a unanimous first team All-Big 12 and was an AVCA All-Central Region first team selection. She earned a spot on the NCAA Tournament All-Penn State Region team and was also named Big 12 Player of the Week twice while claiming AVCA/Sports Imports National Player of the Week on Nov. 9 after helping Mizzou to a pair of road wins at Colorado and Iowa State.
Ampudia posted 493 kills on a program record 1,380 attacks in 2010 and had eight matches with at least 20 kills. In fact, she posted 13 matches with at least 18 points while guiding Mizzou to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007. She also shined in the NCAA Tournament, guiding Mizzou to the Sweet 16 for the second time in program history. She posted 60 kills and pulled in 33 digs with seven blocks in three NCAA Tournament matches. She was a big reason why the Tigers finished ranked No. 22 nationally.
Ampudia will leave Mizzou as the school record holder for attacks in a single season (1,380 - 2010), kills in a single match (35 at Kansas - 2009), attacks in a single match (78 at Kansas - 2009), kills in a three-set match (26 at Texas A&M - 2009) and is the Big 12 record holder for kills in a four-set match (35 at Kansas - 2009). Her 903 kills over two seasons are the second-most in a two-year span in program history, trailing on Shen Danru's 936 in 2002 and 2003.
In 2009, Ampudia was a unanimous selection as Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and was a first team All-Big 12 honoree. She closed 2009 with 281 kills over her last 16 matches (the second half of the season, including 14 Big 12 matches), averaging 17.6 per match in that span. Those 281 kills were more than any other player in the Big 12 during that span, including the National Player of the Year runner-up, Destinee Hooker, who finished 21 kills behind Ampudia in that span.
For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com.