Press Release courtesy of Colorado Athletics
The Colorado volleyball team gathered on Sunday, January 26, to celebrate the 2017 campaign at its year-end banquet at the Byron R. White Club.
The annual banquet was a special morning that featured fellowship and brunch with the team, support staff, administration, parents, families and key donors as CU turned the page towards the future after an extremely successful campaign.
Head coach Jesse Mahoney talked about the fall season, which included a return to the NCAA Tournament and CU’s fourth NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in school history. The Buffs also defeated six ranked opponents, tying the school’s single season record. Mahoney then looked ahead to 2018, talking about the spring as well as fall season.
During the fall campaign, several Buffs earned awards on and off the court. Senior Stephanie Shadley was recognized for her Pac-12 All-Academic second team selection, while junior Naghede Abu, senior Anna Pfefferle, junior Alexa Smith and sophomore Rachel Whipple earned honorable mention status.
After the academic awards, it was time to recognize the athletic achievements of the 2017 squad. Several garnered recognition during the regular season. Smith was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 18, and earned VolleyMob.Com National Player of the Week honors as well. She was also tabbed the CU Athlete of the Week four times.
Abu was selected the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 1, which also earned her CU Athlete of the Week honors. She was also the CU Athlete of the Week on Dec. 5.
Freshman Brynna DeLuzio was also honored during the season by the conference. She recorded the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week award four times, which was a CU record and was the most by any league freshman in 2017.
The awards continued to roll in for the Buffs after the regular season. Smith was named to the All-Pac-12 Team, while Abu, senior Joslyn Hayes, junior Frankie Shebby and DeLuzio were tabbed to the honorable mention team. DeLuzio was also selected to the all-freshman team.
Smith and DeLuzio continued to earn more awards as the postseason rolled on. Smith was selected CU’s first AVCA Second Team All-American in addition to earning AVCA All-Pacific South Region honors. DeLuzio was named to the AVCA honorable mention All-America team after earning all-region honorable mention status and the AVCA All-Pacific South Region Freshman of the Year honor.
The most anticipated awards came at the end of the banquet. The Buffs named Smith their offensive MVP, while Abu was selected the defensive MVP; both earning their respective honor for the second straight season. Sophomore Lillie Klemmer was tabbed the team’s scout team MVP and Shadley earned the Heart of the Buffalo award.
The Buffs finished the season with an impressive 24-10 record, the third most wins in school history. The Buffs also earned a 12-8 mark in Pac-12 play.