Uintah High School senior Kyrsten Bake has been a household name the past four years in the volleyball and basketball programs.
The talented athlete had the opportunity to go play at the next level in both sports.
Bake decided to play volleyball at Casper College in Casper, Wyoming. She officially signed a national letter of intent in front of her teammates at the high school Jan. 9.
“I’m super excited to play at Casper College,” Bake said. “I feel like it’s a great fit. The girls are all super nice. The coach is a good fit. She likes to push us. I feel like I will thrive there.”
She was overwhelmed with how many teammates showed up for her signing ceremony.
“I don’t think one of my basketball and volleyball teammates missed,” Bake said. “It’s a supportive family here. I felt like I made a difference with them.”
Bake said her final decision came to three different schools.
“In the Washington schools I was able to play both volleyball and basketball,” she explained. “I decided I wanted to take the volleyball route and push hard. I think it was a hard decision to give up basketball and leave it all behind.”
Volleyball is No. 1 on Bake’s list of sports.
“Volleyball has always been my passion,” Bake said. “I never loved basketball as much until this year. I thought I should keep going with volleyball.”
When she was in the seventh grade, Bake was inspired watching her sister play volleyball.
“I would go to all of my sister’s tournaments when I was dancing,” she said. “I just loved watching her play. I decided in my seventh-grade year I was going to stop dancing for volleyball.”
Bake started all four years for the Lady Utes as an outside hitter.
“I was a little scared starting my freshman year,” she explained. “My teammates were all so nice to me. They pushed me to play harder and they are a reason why I continued to play today.”
The six-foot player was an impact player the last three years.
“That is a good height to play college volleyball,” she said.
Casper College, Northwest Community College, Laramie County Community College, Eastern Wyoming, Western Wyoming and Central Wyoming College all play in Region IX.
“I think that it will be a tough transition at first going to play college volleyball,” Bake said. “I feel like it will be a great fit to get me ready to play at a four-year college.”
Bake is currently right in the middle of the basketball season for the Lady Utes. She is the lone senior on the roster.
“I love basketball,” she said. “I love my team and the energy that we will bring to practice. We push each other in games.”
Uintah High School girls basketball coach John Elison is thrilled to see Bake sign to play at Casper College.
“She is a great kid and athlete,” Elison said.
Bake dropped in a career-high 24 points against Payson in a 47-40 setback in Vernal Jan. 10. Her previous career-high was 18 points. Uintah’s Rylee Crane finished with eight points and Zoey Glenn added five.
“It was awesome to score 24 points, but I have to give credit to my teammates,” Bake said. “I couldn’t get those with those assists and great passes.”
Bake was 14-of-14 from the free throw line.
“That is the thing that I was impressed the most about,” Elison said. “She plays big like that every night. She is just a fantastic player.’
She is the daughter of Betsy and Josh Bake.
“My parents are a big part of my sports,” Kyrsten said. “They are always there supporting me in the stands. They are never negative and cheering me on. They are always pushing me to be the best that I can be.”