Colorado senior volleyball player Anna Pfefferle reached a memorable milestone during the Buffaloes’ win against No. 12 Oregon Saturday night, becoming just the fifth player in the history of the program to reach 400 kills in her career.
Pfefferle posted a season-best seven blocks against the Ducks, and reaching the 400-block plateau was a testament to the impressive consistency she has displayed since arriving in Boulder. Each of Pfefferle’s three previous season totals in blocks rank among the top 25 single-season marks in the program’s history, though her best mark of 138 blocks as a freshman in 2014 checks in only at No. 11.
Pfefferle now owns 405 blocks in her career. The 6-foot-2 middle blocker from Northfield, Minn., is likely to keep moving up the career list in the near future, with Lisa Soulliere (412 blocks) and Nikki Lindow (426) well within sight.
“I think being able to play my freshman year right away just kind of got me more comfortable on the court reading setters,” Pfefferle said. “I like to think I work hard to close every block. Hopefully that shows in my consistency as a blocker.”
Pfefferle probably will not have the distinction of being the only active member of the 400-block club for long. With nine blocks against Oregon, junior Naghede Abu now has 373 in her career.
Senior Joslyn Hayes continued a recent upswing against Oregon, finishing with 10 kills. It was Hayes’ third consecutive match with at least 10 kills and the fifth time she has reached that mark in the past seven matches. Hayes posted just one double-digit kill total in the season’s first eight games.
“We’ve given her the ball when the matchup is right, and she had good matchups tonight,” CU coach Jesse Mahoney said. “I think she’s always working on good high, hard swings when the situation arises. She had kind of a little mini-slump a couple matches ago but I think she’s out of that. All of her looks tonight I thought were really good looks. Even when she doesn’t get the kill, she’s taking a really good swing.”
CU travels to Washington next weekend, playing at Washington State Friday and at No. 6 UW Sunday. It will be the first of four consecutive road matches for the Buffs, who visit the Arizona schools the following weekend…The Buffs improved to just 4-11 against ranked foes within the Pac-12 since the beginning of the 2016 season…Junior Alexa Smith matched a career-high with 19 digs against the Ducks.
Pat Rooney: firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/prooney07