Athlete of the Week Archive

Sept. 28, 2009

LARAMIE, Wyo. -



Jessica Kagarise


What are your most visited sites on the internet lately?
"Mostly sports team sites, football and volleyball season. Gotta keep up with my teams!"

If you could play any other sport at UW what would it be?
"I would love to play football. It looks like so much fun to just full out tackle someone."

What physical skill that you've learned in all your years of volleyball will you be able to use later in life in some aspect?
"Floor moves and rolling on the ground without it hurting. I'm sure it will come in handy sometime."

Do you feel like an outcast wearing a different color uniform than the rest of your teammates?
"Yeah, I get a lot of jokes about it. Some people think it's a captain jersey, or they think I forgot the right jersey. When we play other schools with fans that heckle they always let me know that I have the wrong jersey on."

If you could pick one pre-game meal to eat before every game what would it be?
"Through a lot of trial and error, pasta seems to work pretty well if I eat early enough before the game. I usually eat four hours before gametime and have a small snack an hour before."

When and why did you decide you wanted to play volleyball for UW?
"I decided right after my high school season my senior year. I chose UW for a lot of reasons. The games are so much fun and the fans and town are really supportive. Also the Mountain West is strong for volleyball and I wanted the opportunity to play good teams, ranked teams. I love being a Cowgirl! It's such a fun mascot to have. I really felt at home when I visited UW. I love the small town, country, cowboy thing. I wouldn't have gone anywhere else."

What goes through your mind as you are about to serve, dig, etc...?
"When I'm playing defense and I see the hitter facing me, all I can think is "bring it on, gimme your best hit". I want them to hit at me every time."

What is your most and least favorite drills in practice?
"My least favorite drill is run throughs. It's pretty much like running sprints non-stop while trying to pass the ball in the right position. It's fun for a couple but we go for a long time. My favorite drill is hitters versus defense. We stat points, so if the hitter gets a kill they get a point, if the defense digs it up, we get a point. I love that competition."

If you could add something to the game of college volleyball what would it be?
"I got this idea from watching a hockey game...I think it would be so much fun to have like a power play for volleyball like hockey does. Like if you net, you're out of the game until you side out or something, so you'd be playing with only five players. I think it would add so much strategy and new elements for both sides. You'd have to run a completely different offense and defense, it would be so intense!"

If you could be a superhero or have a super-power what or who would it be? Why?
"I'd like to be able to read people's minds just because I'm nosy. Or teleport...think of all the extra time you would have if you didn't have to commute anywhere."

Swine flu...Worried or not?
"I'm only worried that it will get through our whole team and we'll have like four sick starters for a game. When one person gets sick on our team, the whole team gets it eventually. Last year I think the whole team got the 24 hour flu during season and that hurt us for a couple games."

Do you have any pre-game rituals/superstitions?
"I mostly just visualize myself digging and passing, as well as going over our scouting reports. This year we started a pretty funny non-official ritual. We blast the Cottoneyed Joe and dance to it in the locker room while we're waiting to go warm up before the game. Some girls watch and laugh and some of us, like me, just make complete fools of ourselves but I think it loosens us up and relaxes us. It's also a great warm-up, since we're pretty sweaty even before warm-ups. I'm trying to get the coaching staff to incorporate it into our official warm up (just kidding)."

What is the last concert you have attended?
"Kenny Chesney at Frontier Days. It was a great time."

Are you really a Cowgirl like the photos you took for poster, autograph cards, etc...? Were those your personal boots?
"I try to be, but I don't have a ranch or anything to do Cowgirl stuff on but I'm definitely a Cowgirl at heart. I love the outdoors and I love the whole Cowgirl tough mentality, it pumps me up. The boots in the picture are boots we borrowed from a boot store, but I do have my own pair and I've worn them quite a bit in Laramie."

What is your favorite place to eat in Laramie?
"Altitude's or Tommy Jacks. They both have a different style of food from anywhere else and they are sooooo good!"