2016 Illinois Female Athlete of the Year: Jocelynn Birks

2016 Illinois Female Athlete of the Year: Jocelynn Birks

Female Athlete of the Year: Jocelynn Birks, volleyball
■ The powerhouse outside hitter finished her Illini career in elite company as one of just four three-time All-Americans (2013-15), joining Michelle Bartsch, Nancy Brookhart and Mary Eggers.
■ No other Illini took as many swings or recorded as many kills as Birks, as she finished with 139 more kills and 850 more total attacks than Laura DeBruler, who’s now second on both career lists.
■ Most of the elite Division I teams are lucky to have a single six-rotation player. Birks was the Illini’s, as she had the back-row skills to rack up 1,159 career digs to stand seventh all time in program history.
■ Birks didn’t reach 500 kills for a fourth straight season (putting down 435 in 2015), but when the season was on the line, the Illini went to her on the left side. She had 26 kills, hit .426 and had 10 digs to lead Illinois past Louisville and to the Sweet 16.
■ The double-double against the Cardinals was one of 14 for Birks during the 2015 season, pushing her to 54 for her illustrious career.

Past Female Athletes of the Year
YEAR    ATHLETE    SPORT

2016    Jocelynn Birks    Volleyball
2015    Stephanie Richartz    Track and field
2014    Jannelle Flaws    Soccer
2013    Ashley Spencer    Track and field
2012    Vanessa DiBernardo    Soccer
2011    Vanessa DiBernardo    Soccer
2010    Angela Bizzarri    XC/track & field
2009    Angela Bizzarri    XC/track & field
2008    Angelena Mexicano    Softball
2007    Yvonne Mensah    Track and field
2006    Jenna Hall    Softball
2005    Tara Hurless    Soccer
2004    Lisa Argabright    Volleyball
2003    Perdita Felicien    Track and field

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