LARAMIE, Wyo. (Nov. 9, 2016) -- University of Wyoming volleyball head coach Chad Callihan has announced the Cowgirls have signed four student-athletes to the 2017 incoming freshmen class. Next fall, UW will welcome Kaytlen Freeland (Evanston, Wyo./Evanston HS), Marissa Harmon (Frisco, Tex./Justin Wakeland HS), Marina Howard (Cheyenne, Wyo./Cheyenne East HS) and Faith Waitsman (Fayetteville, Ark./Fayetteville HS).
“This is an exciting class for us, as we believe that Faith, Kaytlen, Marina and Marissa will provide the right combination of length, athleticism and volleyball IQ to help our team continue on an upward trend,” Callihan said. “They have been a part of competitive teams, combining for seven state and club championships between them.”
Freeland is a 6-0 right side hitter that lettered four times for the Evanston Red Devils. She is a two-time 4A all-state and all-conference selection and twice led Evanston to the 4A state tournament, including the 2015 state championship match. Freeland was also a member of the 11th-place USA Junior Nationals team. Additionally, she is a member of the national honors society and took part in the Angel Tree Program and Festival for Families among many other community activities. She is the daughter of Paul and Kodi Freeland. She has two sisters, Kortney and Emily. Kortney is currently a senior middle hitter for the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners.
Harmon is 6-1 setter that lettered three years at Wakeland high school and played for the Texas Advantage Volleyball club. The 2016 team captain was named a member of the ASC Nike Invitational All-Tournament Team in addition to being selected to the TAVC 5A/6A Pre-Season All-Texas Team. During her junior year, she led the team in assists and aces, was second on the team in kills and third in digs while being named the co-offensive player of the year. She was an AVCA Phenom selection as well as all-state and all-district in 2015. Harmon is a nine-year club volleyball player and a three-time Open National Champion. She is the daughter of Scot and Julie Harmon and has three siblings, Darrian, Makayla and Noah. Her brother Noah is a freshman setter on the men’s volleyball team at Barton College.
Howard is a 6-0 middle blocker that began her high school career in Pine Bluffs, before closing out her second season at Cheyenne East this fall. She was instrumental in helping East defeat Green River 3-0 in the 4A state championship match just last week. The Lady Thunderbirds finished the season with a 32-7 record after it won its third consecutive state championship. Howard was named all-state in volleyball and has twice been all-state in outdoor track. She is an FBLA volunteer and Click Club member. She is the daughter of Patrick Gross and Lisa Burton and has three siblings, Karah, Sophie and Clayton.
Waitsman is a 6-2 middle blocker that lettered three years for Fayetteville high school. She was named an Under Armour All-American honorable mention selection this fall, and is a three-time all-state selection. Waitsman was a key member of her high school team that was selected as a USA TODAY Sports/American Volleyball Coaches Association Preseason Super 25 team before winning its second-consecutive state championship in 2016. She is also a member of the national honors society and Alpha Theta. Waitsman is the daughter of Bill and Nika Waitsman and has two siblings, Caleb and Whitney.
“As always, this class is strong academically and we know they will serve as wonderful ambassadors for the University of Wyoming,” Callihan added. “There is always a learning curve for any newcomer but we expect to see each of these players make a real impact on our program in the future.”