Katie Kampen got chills when she clicked on a YouTube video Wednesday night.
It was a video forwarded to the Mount Carmel senior from her coach, announcing that she had been named Louisiana’s Volleyball Player of the Year.
“Thinking about everything the award encompasses and watching the video just really made everything sink in,” Kampen said.
It was the second straight year the outside hitter, whose volleyball career began about a decade ago when she started playing bounce ball at Pontiff Playground, won the award.
She is Louisiana’s fifth two-time winner and first since Sacred Heart’s Suzanne Haydel won it back-to-back in 2005 and 2006.
Was it better winning it the first time around or the second?
“I can’t really say,” she said. “They are both incredible honors. I would put them equally. I can’t out one above the other.”
The 5-foot-11 Kampen led the Cubs to a 47-2 record and the Division I state championship this past season. Kampen recorded 572 kills, 380 digs, 80 blocks and 55 service aces while posting a hitting percentage of .422 and a kill percentage of .490. The state’s 2014 Miss Volleyball, Kampen is a 2014 Second Team All-America selection by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. She concluded her prep volleyball career with 1,983 kills and 1,501 digs.
“It’s just her leadership that makes her such a great player,” said Mount Carmel coach April Hagadone. “She has started since she was a freshman and she has just gotten better every year as far as setting an example for her teammates on and off the court. She was always the go-to person when we needed a point and that shows leadership. She was willing to take the ball when the game was on the line.”
The award recognizes more than just athletic success though. It also recognizes those who excel in the classroom as well as in the community.
Kampen has maintained a weighted 4.64 GPA in the classroom. She is a member of the National Honor Society, the French National Honor Society and the Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society. She has volunteered locally with Habitat for Humanity and as part of multiple community service activities through her church.
“It’s tough,” Kampen said about her busy workload. “But it helps having the coaches and teammates and teachers that I have. They make it easier.”
Kampen will play next season at LSU.
“LSU is very lucky to get her, and I know she will do great things there,” Hagadone said. “She is a team player through and through.”
She is the second Mount Carmel player to win the honor, joining 2007 winner Caitlin Clarke, who was an assistant on the team this season.
Kampen admits it’s hard knowing that her high school career, which included state titles in 2012 and 2014, has come to an end.
“It makes me sad to think about it, so I try not to,” Kampen said. “But it’s been an awesome ride, though, so I can’t ask for much more.”