University of Colorado women's volleyball senior Naghede Abu made history on Sunday afternoon by becoming just the second player in school history to record 500 career blocks in a sweep (25-18, 25-20, 28-26) of Oregon State at the CU Events Center.
The record-setting moment came early in the third set when Abu put down a solo block to give CU the lead at 5-4. Earlier this season, Abu became the all-time rally scoring leader in blocks, but with the historic milestone behind her Abu chases only Meghan Barkman who finished her career with 565 total blocks.
"It feels amazing," said Abu. "I know there have been some really good middle blockers ahead of me. So, for me to get that honor is amazing."
Abu was dominant for the Buffs on both ends in the sweep, finishing with a team-high .533 hitting percentage with nine kills. Abu was joined on the offensive end by Alexa Smith, who led the team with 12 kills, while Justine Spann added nine kills of her own.
Smith was everywhere against the Beavers, posting 17 points with her dozen kills. She also had a career-high four aces and a pair of block assists.
Setter Brynna DeLuzio posted her third double-double of the season with a team-high 19 assists and 11 digs. Jenna Ewert added 13 assists.
Defense was the story as the Buffs posted eight and a half blocks in the sweep. Abu led the team with six blocks, while five other CU women added a pair of block assists. Colorado's wall helped hold Oregon State to a .175 hitting percentage. Anything that could make it past was cleaned up by Rachel Whipple with a team-high 13 digs.
"I thought we played really well," said Buffs coach Jesse Mahoney. "We had some lapses from time-to-time, but we were always able to build a nice lead and then kind of get our feet underneath us at the end of sets to close it out. I thought that our passing was a little rough early on but got better as the match went on. They targeted Rachel (Whipple) and she withstood the challenge. She played really well. They did everything we thought they would do and when we executed our game plan I thought that we had a lot of success. It was a good match. Sweeps are tough to come by in this conference so we'll take them when we can get them."
The Buffs head west to take on Arizona and Arizona State in their next two matches. Both teams were ranked as of Sunday, with Arizona claiming the 23rd overall spot and Arizona State coming in at No. 25. CU will play in Tucson at 8 p.m. on Friday before taking on the Sun Devils at 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Both matches are scheduled to be televised on the Pac-12 Network.
Colorado 3, Oregon State 0
At CU Events CenterOregon State (10-10, 0-8 Pac-12)182026Colorado (11-8, 3-5)252528
Kills — Oregon State: Goings 14, Underdown 8, Bennett 7; Colorado: Smith 12, Spann 9, Naghede 9.
Blocks — Oregon State: Gravley 3, Sheehan 3, Vargas 3; Colorado: Naghede 6, Price 2, Smith 2.
Assists — Oregon State: Sheehan 32, Hughes 2, Massey 2; Colorado: DeLuzio 19, Ewert 13, Whipple 2.
Aces — Oregon State: Gravley 1, Underdown 1, Gubrud 1; Colorado: Smith 4, DeLuzio 1.
Digs — Oregon State: Massey 15, Sheehan 7, Ellis 6; Colorado: Whipple 13, DeLuzio 11, Smith 8.