Arizona Beach Tacks on Duo of Kansas Indoor All-Americans Via Transfer

  1 Derek Johnson | April 18th, 2018 | Beach, Beach College Commitments, Big 12, College - Beach, College - Women's Indoor, College Transfers, News, Pac-12

The Arizona beach volleyball program is already getting a head start on the 2019 season by making the addition of former Kansas standouts Ainise Havili and Madison Rigdon. Both earned 2017 AVCA Division I Honorable Mention All-America status this past season where they exhausted their eligibility indoors. However, they still have a year to play beach, so are moving on to Tucson for the 2018-2019 school year that ends with the spring season.

A 5’10” setter indoors, Havili will be a defender in the sand. She came to Kansas in 2014 from Fort Worth, Texas and wound up a four-time AVCA All-American (Honorable Mention in 2014 and 2017, First Team in 2015 and Third Team in 2016) and the first player to win Big 12 Setter of the Year more than once, as she did it three times. She was also the school’s all-time career assists leader (5,255) and added versatility – which will pay off on the beach – with a career 2.82 digs, 0.72 kills, 0.40 blocks and 0.22 aces per set.

Rigdon, a 6’0″ outside hitter who will become a blocker in the sand, also arrived in Lawrence from Texas, coming from Pflugerville. She was a two-time AVCA All-American (Honorable Mention in 2016 and 2017) and was three-times All-Big 12. Her game should transition seamlessly to the beach, where smarts and all-around play will be tested. For her career with Kansas, she logged 3.07 kills, 2.10 digs, 0.46 blocks and 0.21 aces per set.

Both players brought Kansas to heights the program hadn’t seen before, making the NCAA Tournament all four seasons together – including program firsts of a Final Four in 2015 and a Big 12 Championship in 2016. They’ll look to bring that same successful aura with them to the sand with the Wildcats.

Arizona is currently in the midst of a 16-10 (4-3 Pac-12) season in the pits, as they rank 14th in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll. They’re set to lose four blockers and one defender following the season, as that group of five are all seniors.

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Lazy mediocre indoor players don’t make good beach players, IMO. But hey, maybe they were just saving themselves for the beach.. . . smh

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