Jenna Hampton Named SEC Libero of the Year
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina’s Jenna Hampton made history Sunday afternoon, earning the SEC’s Libero of the Year Award. She is the first Gamecock to earn the award from the conference’s coaches since the team joined the SEC in 1991 and is just the third student-athlete from Carolina to have earned an individual award in that span. Hampton is also on the 18-woman All-SEC team, marking the sixth season in a row for a Gamecock to be recognized on the postseason list but the first time a libero represented the program.
“Jenna is a special player and person, one of joys of getting to coach in the SEC is to work with players of Jenna’s level. She’s certainly gifted but her effort level and competitiveness are what makes her so elite and deserving of every recognition she gets. She’s changed the way our program thinks about defense and I hope our fans enjoyed getting to see her play, even if only for a year.”
It was a momentous year on the court for Hampton, her 460 digs rank sixth-most in a single season in the rally scoring era and she is the 10th woman to surpass 450 digs in a season in the program’s 49-year history. The Tampa, Fla. native finished with 317 digs in SEC play alone, fourth most for South Carolina since joining the league in 1991 and her 4.53 digs per set in conference play led all individuals.
Hampton had a stretch of four games in a row with 20 or more digs and her six total matches over 20 digs are the most in a single season for South Carolina since 1996. To put her season’s efforts into perspective, Hampton accounted for over 35 percent of the team’s total digs, the highest percentage by a single player since official stats were first recorded in 1984 – only two other individuals have even cracked the 30 percent barrier.
This fall put a bow on an illustrious career for Hampton, who joined the Gamecocks after four seasons at Penn State. Counting her time as a Nittany Lion, Hampton is well over 1,500 career digs. Only eight other women in the NCAA Division I Power-5 conferences have more.
Follow @GamecockVolley on Twitter for continued updates on the team throughout the spring exhibition season and into the summer.