Prep Athlete of the Week: Kelly Walsh Volleyball

Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 12:24 AM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - There is another team that earned collective Athlete of the Week honors this week, and this one went out to the Kelly Walsh Volleyball team. They were the juggernaut all season and capped off their championship run in impressive fashion.

Coach Jeff Barkell was emotional when describing his feelings after the victory.

“Well from my side kind of relief. These girls, they’ve wanted that, they’ve been chasing that. For two years they’ve been in that championship game and come up short, and you just want so much for them to feel that feeling. So for me, I think probably pride but relief,” Barkell said.

The team has now made seven straight appearances in the championship game, but as Coach Barkell said they were unable to get over the hump in each of the last two years-- losing to Laramie both times. This time around, they got their revenge as they beat the Lady Plainsmen 3-2 in the semifinals before blanking Cody in the championship.

The team started off the season a perfect 27-0, but got caught by their rival Natrona County in a surprising 3-0 loss in the Volleybowl. Although the Mustangs put up the 1 in the Lady Trojans’ 34-1 record, Senior CJ Eskew said that match gave the team the extra motivation they needed going into the tournament.

“It kind of actually helped us not be complacent, because we knew we were the number one team. We knew that we were winning all of these games, and we knew we were doing really well. So I think that helped humble us a little bit before the state tournament. Because if we didn’t we were kind of getting to that point in our team I felt like. So it was kind of a ‘good slash bad’ loss you could say, but I think it helped a lot to get us to where we needed to be,” Eskew said.

Congratulations to Kelly Walsh on their championship performance.