Lone senior leads Blues

Eric Smith

Imagine for a second a quarterback on a football field, calling all the plays, commanding the team’s respect, controlling the ball and where it ultimately goes. Now, think of a similar position on a volleyball court and you’ll find Kate Hampson, the Washburn Lady Blues senior setter.

Hampson, the second-year captain on the Washburn volleyball team, could be compared to Brett Favre or Tom Brady in the job she does on the court.

“I call all the play sets,” said Hampson. “Tell people where to go, what to do, and I deliver the ball basically.

“It’s hard at times because if something doesn’t work, it can be your fault. And you have to be much more aware on the court of what the other team is doing, who’s on the other team, like the blockers on the other team, things like that. But you get to be more creative I guess because I’m always in the game and always touching the ball. In that respect, it’s fun.”

Hampson, a mass media major, is used to being a team leader because of the position she’s in.

“It’s definitely like you’re forced into a leadership role when you’re a senior, but since I’m a setter I’m kind of already in that role,” said Hampson, who is the team’s all-time leader in assists with more than 4,500.

The only senior on a young team, Hampson came in with Ashley Shepard and Kelci Wigger as freshmen but both Wigger and Shepard redshirted. She said she has mixed emotions about this being her last season.

“It’s cool but kind of sad at the same time, because it’s like, I’m the only one that’s going to be done,” said Hampson. “And no one else is going to be done.”

Hampson said for the rest of this year, individual goals she’d like to achieve include doing well in postseason honors.

“Personally, I’ve always just been third team [in the all-MIAA],” she said. “I’ve never been up there so I’d like to be up on the first team or second team. And then I guess repeat as All-American is also a goal.”

Ali Ward, a right hitter, is in her third year with the Lady Blues and said Hampson is an asset to Washburn.

“She brings a lot to the team,” said Ward. “She brings a lot of enthusiasm and competitiveness and she brings out the best in all of us. She is just like the core of our team, I would think.

“…She’s the reason that the hitters all make the kills. She probably has the most important role. I wouldn’t want to be in her position.”

While Hampson is proud to go to Washburn, being from Ft. Collins, Colo., she is a Colorado State fan. Ward also said she loved the local baseball team.

“She knows everything about the Colorado Rockies, that’s her favorite team,” said Ward. “And she takes it very close to heart so don’t insult the Rockies. She’s Colorado for life, she loves country music and loves to sing and dance and has a great personality.”