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Florida volleyball star Merritt Beason made an impact right away in her first season with the Gators. Appearing in all 31 of the team’s matches, Merritt finished the year as part of the SEC All-Freshman Team and was named SEC Freshman of the Week twice throughout the year. As Merritt has helped lead the Gators to another great season, she says she has relied on her faith throughout her career to lead her to where she is.

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Originally from Gardendale, Alabama, Merritt grew up in a family where faith was always a priority. As she looks back, she says that her upbringing has been foundational in leading her to where she is today.

“I grew up in church, so my faith has always been a big part of my life. I gave my life to Christ in sixth grade and my life has never been the same since.”

After becoming a star at Gardendale High School, Beason was one of the most sought after athletes in her class. After making the decision to head to Florida, faith was paramount in guiding her through that first year with the Gators.

As Florida has become one of the top volleyball teams in the nation, Merritt has quickly been thrust into a starring role on the biggest stages of the game. As she prepares for each match, Merritt says faith is key in keeping her mentality where it needs to be.

“My faith allows me to have the strength that it takes to be a collegiate athlete. Because of the grace God gives, I’m able to give myself grace through mistakes, bad games, and rough times.”

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Merritt says that allows her to never focus too much on one game, but instead learn from everything and practice gratitude regardless of the circumstances.

After her incredible freshman year, Merritt also spent time with the US U21 team. As she has seen her platform grow and become one of the top young players in the game, she says she hopes her time around the sport is used to point others to Him.

“I know God has blessed me with the gifts, talents, and opportunities that He has given me for a reason. I hope that through volleyball I am able to share His name and word.”

Regardless of the wins and losses, Merritt says she hopes to reflect her faith in everything that she does, both on and off the court, and inspire whoever may be watching.

As the season now nears its end, the Gators will be entering the tournament with high expectations. As Florida looks to get to a National Championship by the end of the year, Merritt will be one of the centerpieces of their season. With every chance she gets to play the game, Merritt says she is grateful and hopeful to always use her gifts and platform for good.


Ethan Kruse

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