Kingdon Scores 57 in Korea, One Shy of World Record

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Dec. 08, 2017, 11 a.m. (ET)

Madi Kingdon competing in the Korea V.League
Madi Kingdon competing in the Korea V.League

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 8, 2017) – Madi Kingdon (Hermosa Beach, California/Phoenix, Arizona, Instagram, Twitter), an outside hitter on the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, nearly etched her name into the history books with a world-record performance, coming up one point short while playing in the Korea V.League.

Kingdon, competing for IBK Industrial Bank, scored 57 points in a five-set win over Hyundai in front of 1,516 fans at Suwon Gymnasium on Dec. 5. She was one point shy of tying the world record of 58 points set by Azerbaijan’s Polina Rahimova during a Japan V.League match held in December 2015.

Kingdon’s 57 points tied Bulgarian Elitsa Vasileva for the second-most points scored in a single match. Vasileva recorded her performance in a Korea V.League match in 2014.

Heading into the match, IBK’s game plan wasn’t about pushing 58 percent of the attacks (110 of 191) to Kingdon. However, that changed as the match developed.

“That was definitely not the plan,” Kindgon said of taking such an offensive load during the match. “My setter and I were connecting really well that night so she just kept giving me the ball.”

It wasn’t until after the match that Kingdon found out that she racked up 57 points, and not until the next day what scoring 57 points really meant.

“I found out after the match that I had tied the Korean league record for 57 points,” Kingdon said. “The next day I found out it was a point away from the international record.”

Kingdon, who was named most valuable player of the 2016-17 Korea V.League Championship match, hammered 52 kills on an incredible 110 swings for a 47.3 kill percent against Hyundai. She added four blocks and an ace to reach her 57 points in the victory.

Having well over 100 swings in the match did not phase Kingdon one bit as she has become accustomed to being a major offensive weapon for her team. Plus, there was incentive for the win in the overall league standings.

“I felt great because we beat the second-place team!” Kingdon said. “I didn’t even realize how many points I scored. I do get set more playing in this league, so the number of swings didn’t feel out of the ordinary.”

Kingdon also scored 47 points for IBK last season during a five-set match during the playoffs’ final series.

While her offense generated the most attention, Kingdon’s back-row performance in the same match against Hyundai also was on point as a six-rotation outside hitter. She turned in 22 digs and had 22 excellent receptions on 40 service receptions, both areas that Kingdon has been working on to get better.

“I’ve been focusing more on those areas as of late to help my game,” Kingdon said. “I’m glad I can contribute in other areas than attacking, I’ve never wanted to be the player that only hits. Defense is one of my favorite parts of the game.”

And while the 57 points may be something that goes down in the history books as one of the best offensive performances in any match around the world, Kingdon will also remember one specific rally during the match that symbolizing the team aspect over herself.

“One specific rally we had during the match was really intense and incredibly long,” Kindgon said. “My team was playing solid defense and getting some amazing digs. We ended up winning the rally and all came together in the middle and just leaned on each other for a minute to catch our breath. This moment stands out to me because we really had to fight for this win.”

The Korea V.League has produced some other notable American offensive performances. Nicole Fawcett also tallied 55 points in the Korea V.League while leading Korea Expressway during a Feb. 14, 2013 match. At the time, Fawcett’s 55 points was a world record for points scored in an international or professional women’s volleyball match. Alaina Bergsma Coble matched Fawcett’s 55-point performance during KGC’s five-set V.League semifinal loss to IBK earlier this year.