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The surprisingly strong start put together by the Colorado volleyball team has netted the Buffaloes a pair of Pac-12 Conference weekly honors.

On Monday the Buffs were tabbed with a pair of awards, with sophomore Meegan Hart winning the league’s Defensive Player of the Week honor while Jill Schneggenburger collected the Freshman of the Week award.

The Buffs improved to 5-0 over the weekend at the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge at Iowa, sweeping the host Hawkeyes on Friday before stunning No. 5 Illinois with a sweep Saturday. The effort gave CU its first national ranking of the season at No. 19 in the latest AVCA top 25 poll released Monday.

Hart, a third-year sophomore in her first season with the Buffs after transferring from Iowa State, posted 11 blocks total in the two wins and averaged two per set against Illinois. The 6-foot-2 middle blocker leads the Buffs with 20 blocks overall.

Schneggenburger paced the Buffs’ offense with 20 kills during the two wins in Iowa. The rookie from Irvine, Calif., posted 12 kills, three blocks, and an ace in the win against Illinois.

The 19th-ranked Buffs will put their unbeaten mark on the line this week with a home-and-home series against Colorado State. The rivals play Thursday in Fort Collins (7 p.m.) and Friday at the CU Events Center (6 p.m., Pac-12 Networks). CSU unofficially is ranked 26th as the top team among others receiving votes in this week’s AVCA poll.

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