A 23-year-old Ole Miss two-sport standout and Dutch Fork High School graduate died early Friday morning following a car crash, university officials confirmed.
Ole Miss Athletics Director Ross Bjork said Ty Laporte, of Irmo, was killed just after midnight near Holly Springs, Miss., an hour away from Oxford, Miss., where the university’s campus is located.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by Ty’s death,” Bjork said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, her teammates, coaches and our staff during this difficult time. Everyone in the Ole Miss family offers our deepest sympathy to everyone who was touched by Ty's amazing and infectious spirit."
On the volleyball court, Bjork said Laporte finished her four-year Rebel career in the fall and ranked third all-time in block assists with 280 and third all-time in total blocks with 334. She also ranks fifth all-time in kills with 999.
Ole Miss volleyball head coach Steven McRoberts said the team was heartbroken after receiving the news.
“Ty’s smile would light up the room, and her passion was contagious,” McRoberts said. “She was loved by all of her teammates and coaches. Ty will be greatly missed by not only the volleyball team but the whole Ole Miss community.”
After tearing her ACL in 2011 and redshirting, Laporte started 22 of 27 matches as a freshman in 2012 and posted the best hitting percentage (.312) on the team and the best in the SEC among freshmen to earn SEC All-Freshmen Team honors, officials said.
In the last two years, Laporte helped lead the Rebels to consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in nearly three decades, the best start in school history and the most home wins with a 13-5 record in 2015, McRoberts said.
Laporte was also a member of the university’s track and field team since her freshman year, competing in the high jump. She ranks ninth in school history in the outdoor high jump with a college-best clearance of 5-7.75 in 2014, officials said.
Laporte, a senior integrated marketing communications major, was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2014 and 2015 and a member of the UMAA Honor Roll.