It is a very sad day in UK land as Jenni Casper died this afternoon of injuries sustained in a car accident early Saturday morning. Casper was a star volleyball player at UK and finished her career in 2007 as a two-time SEC Defensive player of the year and one of the top 15 players in NCAA history in career digs. However that only scratches the surface on the impact Casper made on her team and university. She was a beloved member of the UK family and was known and respected by all members of UK athletics and the school as a whole. Individuals ranging from Mitch Barnhart to former players have all commented on how much she meant to the school and the loss is a huge one for the University.
Some quotes from UK:
“The Wildcat family is saddened by the loss of Jenni Casper. Jenni represented the University of Kentucky and the volleyball program with passion and dignity. She was an intense competitor and amazing individual. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jenni’s family and loved ones during this period of grief.” UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart
“Our volleyball family is deeply saddened by the loss of Jenni. She meant a great deal to our program, and our hearts go out to the Casper family and loved ones. We will do everything we can to carry on Jenni’s legacy of dedication, enthusiasm and unselfishness through our program.” UK Volleyball Coach Craig Skinner
I can think of very few things sadder than the loss of a vibrant young person at the brink of entering her adult life. I knew Jenni just a bit and she was a thoughtful, energetic person who was beloved by everyone. It is especially sad that as the UK volleyball team hits new heights nationally, one of the cornerstones of the building of the program has passed in a tragic accident. Because of Casper’s place in the community, this loss will be felt hard across Lexington. I hope you will join me in celebrating her life and praying for her family and friends through this unbelievably difficult time.