The University of Colorado women’s volleyball team had a pair of duos named to the 2018 All-Pac-12 Team and the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team, the conference announced Tuesday morning.
Seniors Alexa Smith and Naghede Abu were both named to the 18-person All-Pac-12 Team, marking the third time the Buffaloes have had two individuals named to the honor. Jenna Ewert and Anyse Smith were both named to the seven-person Pac-12 All-Freshmen Team, marking the first time in school history the team has had a pair of freshmen honored. They join teammate Brynna DeLuzio as the only All-Freshmen honors for CU.
Alexa Smith finished fourth in the Pac-12 in overall kills with 449 as well as third in the conference in points. She also was third in total attacks, sixth in attacks per set and eighth in kills and points per set. The senior became the 16th player in school history to hit 1,000 kills the match before conference play started and has continued to dominate with the fourth-most kills in conference play this season with 303. Smith led the team with a dozen double-doubles, moving herself to 10th in school history in the mark. She also will finish her career seventh in overall kills and is 22 digs from becoming the ninth player in school history with 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs. This is her second All-Pac-12 First Team honor.
Abu finished second in the conference in hitting percentage at .387, a mark that has her 21st in the nation in the category. Her hitting percentage also now has her as the highest career hitting percentage in school history, passing Hall of Fame setter Kelly Campbell. Abu also is tied for the most blocks in the conference season with 114. Her 1.41 blocks per set is good for second in the conference and 20th in the nation, trailing only the nation’s leader from Stanford with 1.86 blocks per set. This season she set school records for blocks in a match with 17 against Oregon State and became the career record holder in blocks against UCLA with her 566th block.
Ewert finished seventh in total assists during conference play despite splitting time in a 6-2 system in 11 of the 20 matches. After being forced into a solo-setter situation, the freshman blossomed throughout the final stretch of the season. She finished with an average of 11.16 assists per set in the nine matches, but after starting the first five matches averaging 10.2 assists per set she turned it around to average 12.29 assists per set over the last four matches. Her final two matches she averaged 13.42 assists per set. Ewert also became a well-rounded point scorer for the Buffs, finishing with four or more kills five times and with four or more blocks four times. Against Oregon State she tied the school record for blocks by a setter in a match with 10, becoming just the second individual in CU history to record a double-double with assists and blocks.
Anyse Smith finished 24th in conference play in total kills, leading the All-Freshmen team by nearly 60 total kills. She had the fourth-most kills by any freshman during the Pac-12 season while also finishing fourth in total points. She was also second in hitting percentage among freshman outside hitters with a .238 mark, all despite missing four matches in conference play.
No.1-ranked Stanford secured the most honors, led by the Pac-12 Player of the Year Kathryn Plummer. They also secured the Pac-12 Setter of the Year in Jenna Gray and the Pac-12 Libero of the Year in Morgan Hentz. Head coach Kevin Hambly was named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year, while USC’s setter Raquel Lazaro was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.