As the Mizzou volleyball team prepares for its Sweet 16 match with 12th seeded Duke, three athletes were honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) as it unveiled its All-Region teams. Senior outside hitter Paola Ampudia was named to the All-Central Region first team while freshman setter Molly Kreklow was named Central Region Freshman of the Year and honorable mention team. Senior libero Caitlyn Vann was an All-Central Region honorable mention pick as well. Missouri State volleyball player Kelley Michnowicz was recognized with a spot on the all-Central Region First Team.
Ampudia is the Tigers’ first All-Region first team honoree since 2006. It also marks the first time in her career that she has been honored as an All-Region selection. The senior currently leads Mizzou in kills with 472 this season and needs just 28 more to become only the third Tiger to post 500 kills in a single season.
Kreklow is the first Tiger to earn AVCA Central Region Freshman of the Year since 2002. The Tiger setter finished the regular season ranked second in the Big 12 in assists per set at 11.70.
Vann needs just 19 more digs this season to become only the second Tiger to get at least 2,000 career digs. She is also the only Tiger in program history with more than 600 digs in a single season.
Missouri State’s Michnowicz is the 13th AVCA all-region performer and first since classmate Calli Norman earned an honorable mention last season. The Central Region includes schools from Texas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Michnowicz led the Missouri Valley Conference with a .367 hitting percentage for the season, which ranks second in school history. She has a .309 career hitting percentage that ranks third in MSU history.