Nu'u Named To All-Big 12 First Team; Sutherland and Schaefer Named Honorable Mention
BOULDER - The University of Colorado volleyball team has placed three on the All-Big 12 teams. Senior setter, Ashley Nu'u, has been named to the first team and junior outside hitter Amber Sutherland and sophomore middle blocker Lauren Schaefer have been selected to the honorable mention squad, announced Monday by the conference office. The Big 12 awards are selected by the league's head coaches.
Nu'u, an Aurora, Colo., native, has been a honorable mention selection for the past two years and was the 2003 Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year. Nu'u has worked her way up to third on Colorado's all-time career assists chart with 4,226 assists. She has passed out 1,263 this season to average 12.5 per game, which ranks 13th on the single-season chart. Nu'u has also collected 112 kills, 14 aces, 172 digs, 58 blocks and has hit .335 in 101 games. Nu'u was named the Sports Imports/AVCA and Big 12 Player of the Week on Nov. 13 after helping lead CU to an upset of top-ranked and then-undefeated Nebraska. She has picked up CU Athlete of the Week honors twice this season.
Sutherland, a Glenwood Springs, Colo., native, was selected to the honorable mention squad for the first time in her career. Sutherland was named the Big 12 and CU Athlete of the Week after recording 35 kills in an upset of No. 21 Missouri. She leads CU with 431 kills this season and ranks fifth in the Big 12 with 4.23 per game. Sutherland ranks 10th on CU's single-season kills list and is 15th on the career chart with 877. She leads the Buffs with 15 double-doubles this season. Sutherland also ranks 22nd for CU in career digs with 602. She was named to the Colorado Invitational All-Tournament Team earlier this season.
Schaefer, a Mountain View, Calif., native, was also selected to the honorable mention team for the first time in her career. Schaefer leads CU with 0.92 blocks per game. She has put up 11 solos and 74 assists this season. Schaefer is hitting .300, ranking third on the team. She has recorded 213 kills in 92 games. In Big 12 only matches, Schaefer is attacking at a .308 clip, which is 10th in the league.
CU will host first and second round matches at the Coors Events/Conference Center on Thursday, Nov. 30, and Friday, Dec. 1. The Buffs are making their 16th tournament appearance in 21 years. Colorado (16-11) will take on New Mexico State (33-3) at 7 p.m. on Thursday, while the other match up will feature Colorado State (20-9) and defending NCAA champion and No. 6 overall seed Washington (25-4) at 5 p.m. The winners of Thursday's first round will meet at the CECC on Friday at 7 p.m. in for the right to advance to NCAA Regional competition in Seattle the weekend of Dec. 7-10.