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30 Greatest Tigers of the Decade: #29 Brittnee Cooper

#29 Brittnee Cooper
#29 Brittnee Cooper

One of the reasons I've started this project is to highlight some of LSU's other programs.  Football dominates the headlines around these parts, while baseball and basketball get their fair share of the spotlight.  So this is a good chance for us to take notice of all of LSU's programs and their success over the past decade.  This is the Golden Age of LSU Athletics, and not just because of football. 

One of the programs that flies under the radar is volleyball.  The team's last SEC title was 1991, and volleyball suffered through an NCAA tournament drought from 1993-2004.  Enter one Brittnee Cooper.  OK, the postseason drought snapped in 2005 and Cooper didn't show up until 2006, but it's not hard to trace the turnaround in the volleyball program to Cooper's emergence as one of the best players in the country.

I'm not going to pretend I'm a volleyball expert, but Cooper leaves LSU having record 1082 kills.  That sounds pretty good.  What I know is good is the sheer volume of honors she has earned her senior year:

All-SEC, All-Louisiana, All-South, All-American, SEC Player of the Year, and a host of smaller honors.

Cooper excelled at both offense and defense, as she was a terrific blocker and virtual kill machine.  You score over 1000 points on your career, you're probably doing something right.  Cooper guided LSU not just back to the NCAA tournament, but to LSU's first conference title in almost 20 years.  We don't just celebrate great players, we celebrate winners.  Cooper was both, leaving the volleyball program as its most successful player ever.