Freshly recruited and entering her freshman year of high school, Jamye Cox — the current junior libero for Michigan State volleyball — watched as former Spartan Kori Moster dove for every ball she saw on the court back in 2014. Moster, who Cox described as her role model, ended her career with 2,218 career digs — good for third all-time in the Big Ten and first all-time for the Spartans.
“She’s a player that I still look up to to this day,” Cox said. “I still, every time I step on the court think, ‘Ok, how can I be as good as she was.’”
Now, this thought may become a reality for Cox.
With 1,091 career digs as of Oct. 27, 30 digs stand between the 5-foot-6 junior and a spot in MSU volleyball all-time top 10. Judy Doles, who graduated from MSU in 1988, currently holds down the No. 10 spot with 1,121 career digs, but with Cox averaging 3.86 digs per frame, it’s safe to say she is well within reach of Doles' spot.
“It’s obviously a great feeling, but it's not something I constantly think about,” Cox said before explaining that she didn’t even know she was so close to the top 10 until the question was posed to her. “To me, it's never really about the personal achievements, I mean yeah, I get excited for myself, but it's more about what we are doing as a team and where we’re at.”
On Oct. 18, Cox was recognized for her 1,000th career dig, which she achieved in the team’s match against Maryland in a pregame ceremony.
“It’s funny, I didn’t even know they were doing it so I was standing there and all of a sudden I hear my name on the announcements and I thought ‘Okay this is weird,’” Cox said, laughing as she thought back to the day. “My parents knew that they were going to recognize me for it, I had no idea. It was awesome. I was super thankful and it’s awesome to see that the Spartan family is proud of me.”
Cox has posted double-digit digs in the last eight consecutive Spartan matches and in 18 of the team’s 20 matches so far this season. She hit her season best — 28 digs — on Aug. 30 against Duke, which was one shy of her career best, 29.
Not even realizing the significance of her personal achievements, it is no question that Cox is the ultimate team player. Her focus-driven, determined work ethic has quickly granted her leadership status on the team despite only being in the middle of her junior year.
On the court, Cox says she and the team “let everything go” and just “grind” no matter how tired they may be.
“You have three hours, and yeah, it might be the hardest hours of your life, but you gotta get it over with and you gotta come in and realize everyone else in the Big Ten and in the conferences everywhere else, they're all getting better even if they are tired, so we step on this floor and it's battle time,” Cox said.
For the 2019 squad, Cox plays the role her role model once did. She's the player that never avoids the ball, the player that makes the save every chance they have and, potentially, the player that makes Spartan history.