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One of the top recruits for the USC Volleyball team in the class of 2021, middle blocker Tyrah Ariail came to USC with loads of excitement surrounding her name. After finishing her high school career as a three-time All-District first-team choice and two-time district Blocker of the Year, the Trojans were thrilled to learn that Tyrah would be joining them. After being sidelined by an injury halfway through her freshman year, Tyrah says she has relied on her faith to help guide her through.

Photo Courtesy of USC Athletics
A Frisco, Texas native, Tyrah says that her faith has always been an important part of life. But it became most crucial for her later in life as she faced roadblocks throughout her journey.

“Faith has always been important in every aspect of my life and even more so in the last couple of years. I suffered from an ACL injury in November of 2020 and was devastated. In some of the darkest times in my life, God always shined light on the positives. The little accomplishments from being able to walk again to eventually being able to play in my freshman year here at USC.”

As she suited up for the Trojans, she quickly made an impact in her first few matches. However, after suffering from a second ACL injury, she had to again trust in God and his timing.

“I think above all, it’s important to look to God for strength, confidence, and patience.”

As Tyrah has worked her way back to the court and prepares for her second year with the Trojans, she says she hopes to use her gifts to give back.

“I feel that sports are just as mental as it is physical and I learned that even more transitioning from high school and club to college. There are many times where I don’t feel 100% confident in myself but I always remember God wouldn’t put me in any situation that I couldn’t handle and I’ve made it this far for a reason.”

Photo Courtesy of USC Athletics
Tyrah says that she has learned to put her trust in God’s plan, even when things don’t go how she envisioned them. Strengthened by her close relationship with her mom, Tyrah says she is learning to trust that everything will work out in the end.

“Faith is a constant reminder that no matter how it may look in the present, it’ll all work out in the future.”

As Tyrah looks back at the road she has taken to where she is today, she says that she has learned that the journey may not always be the smoothest or go according to plan. But she says that she has learned to trust the roadblocks and know that they will all work together for her good. With her platform, Tyrah hopes to demonstrate to others the importance of trusting the process and learning along the way.

“I hope to emphasize that goals are a marathon, not a race. My coach always says the bumpiest roads lead to the most beautiful designations. As long as we remain true to ourselves and our relationship with God, the end of his path will be a beautiful reward.”

As Tyrah looks towards the upcoming 2022 season, she hopes to lead the Trojans back to the NCAA Tournament. Bolstered by a strong recruiting class and one of the best transfers in the country in Skylar Fields, the Trojans hope to quickly put their name back on the map. As Tyrah looks towards the future, she says she has learned that things may not always go the way she has planned. But throughout the process, Tyrah hopes to use whatever situation she is in to point others to God and use her gifts to glorify Him.

 

Ethan Kruse

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