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UW’s new Cowgirl volleyball coach Kaylee Prigge leads her team to a successful 2023 season

A woman crouches as she speaks to female athletes crowded around her.
UW Athletics Media Relations

This past season, the Wyoming volleyball team ended with a record of 22-10, which was a significant change from the 2022 season when they only won ten games. This is thanks to the changes implemented by new head coach Kaylee Prigge, who came into this season looking to re-establish the cowgirl toughness. Ever since COVID-19 struck, the team has struggled to get back on their feet, Prigge said.

“2019 was a successful season, and then after that, the pandemic hit, and we really struggled during the COVID season, and the season after that, to refine ourselves and reestablish ourselves as who we wanted to be. I think what worked for us so well, early, when I got here, was a blue-collar mentality that really aligned with who Wyoming is,” Prigge said.

Working hard in the gym is important to Prigge, but having fun and building team chemistry really changed the Cowgirls' game play.

Senior Macey Boggs, who plays setter, explained how their team did a lot of activities outside of volleyball over the summer which brought them closer together.

Prigge said, “We're getting tougher, and we're going to work really, really hard to achieve our goals on the court, but we're going to have fun in the process. I thought a lot about how we were going to do that, and I’m just excited about taking a good first step in the right direction in year one and to uncap potential and the goals that we still have yet to achieve.”

Prigge’s new coaching style worked. The Cowgirls ended their 2023 season with one of their best records from the past three years and were invited back to the National Volleyball Invitation Championship for the first time since 2019.

Middle Blocker Sarah Holcomb, who is a sophomore this year, said this post-season tournament gave their team more time to show off their abilities and end the year on a high note.

“It felt like all the hard work that we put into the year actually paid off,” Holcomb said. “We got to show off a little more, even though this season didn't go exactly how we wanted it to. We got to end it in a good positive note, which is what we've worked for.”

Going into the 2024 season, Prigge is proud of how the team adapted to the changes she made, but there are still things to work on, both offensively and defensively.

One of their main goals is to make the conference tournament. In order to accomplish this, the Cowgirls are practicing hard in the gym during the off season to continue to improve their game.

“The spring is some really cool volleyball technical time to really get to break some things down and make some big changes and just get excited about that growth that is ahead of our team right now,” said Prigge.

The Cowgirls will start their next season in September and are ready to see what this year holds for them.

Paityn is from Colorado and has always had a love for sports. Growing up, she loved to watch and play them and she hopes to pursue a career in sports journalism/broadcasting. Paityn is currently a freshman at the University of Wyoming studying journalism and working as a sports intern at Wyoming Public Radio. She enjoys watching all kinds of sports, especially hockey, spending time outdoors and hanging out with her friends and family!
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