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As the TCU volleyball team looks towards the future of the program, they will be supported by two of the top young players in the game. Cecily Bramschreiber, who just finished her freshman year for the Horned Frogs, was a highly recruited defensive specialist after capping an illustrious career at Lovejoy High School. Carlee Pharris is an incoming freshman setter who committed to TCU after finishing an incredible career at Brandeis high school. As they both look to help TCU get back onto the national stage, they both credit their faith for leading them to where they are today.

Photo Courtesy of Matt’s Photography
For Cecily, a native of Lucas, Texas, faith was something she learned about from a young age but says it wasn’t always important for her. But she says that after she got to high school, she began to make it more of a priority.

“I grew up going to church every Sunday, but there was a period of time where that fell from our routine. In that span of time, my relationship with Christ was neither weak nor strong; it just wasn’t a concern of mine. Later, as I went through high school, FCA brought me back to that routine and taught me the word of God thanks to a close friend. In my junior year of club volleyball, I had a coach whose love for God was undeniable and so contagious. She shared her faith with our team through online devotionals, pre-practice prayers, and through her words and acts of love. Since then, it has always been a goal of mine to grow my faith and connection with the Lord and act upon his words.”

Cecily also credits her sister, Shanel, who plays volleyball for Baylor, for helping guide her in her journey.

“Over the past year as I grew close with my older sister, I’ve really noticed how her college experience has encouraged her to embrace her faith. Because of her and a few others, it has been my focus to surround myself with more people who love God and who share that faith with those around them.”

After arriving at TCU, Cecily immediately made an impact with the Horned Frogs. Finishing second on the team in digs, Cecily provided a spark for the TCU team throughout the year. As she has taken the court, she says her faith helps guide her in every match.

“Faith is always a humbling reminder of why I play the game. It is a reminder that I’m not on the court for myself, but that I’m playing for Him. I’m playing for the girls next to me, I’m playing for my family, and I’m playing for God because He gave me this life and blessed me with this opportunity.”

Now looking towards her next few years on campus, Cecily says she hopes to continue to make an impact both on and off the court.

“I hope in my time here I can be an example of what it is to be a competitive athlete and still a loving and supportive teammate. I’ve only just finished my first season with this team, and I hope I can learn and grow from my experience and those upcoming to become the best player, teammate, and version of myself that I can be.”

Photo Provided by Carlee Pharris
For setter Carlee Pharris, faith has always been an important part of life. Instilled in her from a young age, she says that foundation has been a huge support throughout her life.

“Faith has always been important to me. I really started getting into the Word and becoming more educated on the story of God when I started high school. Being a varsity athlete early was a huge shift from middle school, so being able to turn to God was such a blessing.”

Carlee says that as she has gotten to campus and begun workouts with her team, she already is seeing the level of faith on the team and hopes to contribute to that in any way she can.

“I am so thankful to play a sport that has given me everything but mainly driven me closer to God along the way. Every time I step on the court, I know that I am playing for an audience of One, especially in crucial game times. I know when things are going wrong or if I am ever overwhelmed, God’s grace can get me through anything.”

Enrolling at TCU early for the spring semester before her freshman year, Carlee has quickly been exposed to the pressures and commitment that come with being a division 1 student-athlete. Carlee says that she has learned to take things one day at a time and just rely on God and his timing.

“Things can get crazy busy being a student-athlete, and no one understands the stress until you experience it. Being able to sit down for a second at the end of the long days & talk to God like a friend is the best feeling in the world.”

As Carlee looks towards beginning her collegiate career, she says she hopes to take things one game at a time and always use her gifts for something greater than herself.

As Cecily and Carlee have grown close with each other, they both have involved themselves in different activities and clubs on campus to continue to grow in their faith. Both members of TCU FCA and looking to make an impact in whatever way they can on campus, they both say that being able to go on this journey together has been one of the biggest blessings. With a bright future ahead for the TCU Horned Frogs under new coach Jason Williams, Carlee and Cecily say they just hope to look back at their time in the game and know that they played for something greater than themselves.

 

Ethan Kruse

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