After a one-week hiatus, the Colorado volleyball team has returned to the national top 25.

In the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association poll released Monday, the Buffaloes checked in at No. 25. The Buffs previously were ranked 25th the fourth week of the season after winning on the road against then-No. 22 Colorado State, but losses the following week to ranked squads from Utah and Stanford pushed CU back out of the poll.

It proved to be a short absence. Powered by wins against Oregon State and then-No. 12 Oregon at home this past weekend, the Buffs once again returned to the poll this week and actually gained more votes. Two weeks ago when the Buffs entered the poll it was with 106 points. They earned 121 in this week's vote.

Also on Monday, CU junior Naghede Abu was named the Pac-12 Conference Defensive Player of the Week for her efforts in the Buffs' victories against the Oregon schools. Abu recorded four blocks against Oregon State and nearly posted a double-double against the Ducks, finishing with 11 kills and nine blocks. It was the second Defensive Player of the Week honor for Abu and third weekly honor overall, as she also won a Freshman of the Week honor two years ago.

Abu ranks third in the Pac-12 in hitting percentage (.385) and seventh in blocks per set (1.34).

Additonally, setter Brynna DeLuzio was named the league's Freshman of the Week for the second time this season. DeLuzio recorded 55 assists against Oregon State — her fifth 50-assist effort in six matches — and posted 46 assists against Oregon. She is the first CU player to earn the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week award twice.


The Buffs will put their latest No. 25 ranking to the test this week with road dates against Washington State on Friday and No. 9 Washington on Sunday.

The addition of CU gives the Pac-12 seven programs in this week's poll, led by Stanford at No. 2.

Pat Rooney: or