Madison Frusha began playing volleyball during her second year of middle school in Huntsville, Texas. She moved to Tyler because she felt TJC would be the best place to improve her skills on the court. As she toured the school as a freshman, she saw how the program works and instantly knew she wanted to be part of it.
“I chose TJC because it felt like a good fit for me to grow as a player, especially as a middle hitter because this programs tries to use their middles a lot. And when I came on my visit it just felt like the right place to be,” Frusha said.
What she likes most about the team is the atmosphere and the different cultures. People from all over the world are a part of the team, and Frusha said she has become close friends with many of her teammates. Frusha mentions it has been tough working to improve her skills and the challenges she has faced.
“My biggest challenge has been growing as a player. Changing what I’m doing, trying to be more aggressive, and louder because I’m a pretty quiet person,” Frusha said. “And just stepping up and trying to lead some of the freshmen.”
In all her years playing volleyball, Frusha has accomplished much she is proud of. In high school, Frusha received honorable mention and second team all district. As a freshman at TJC, she lead the national tournament in blocks.
After graduating from TJC, Frusha would like to transfer to a four-year university and continue her volleyball career.
Shara DaSilva is from Brazil, where she began playing volleyball at age 14. She wanted to move to the United States because she knew it would be a good place for her to learn more in order to improve herself. DaSilva explains what changes she has made since moving to the United States.
“It’s hard for me because I have to speak in English — it’s not my first language. My teammates always help me so it’s hard, but it’s fun at the same time,” DaSilva said.
She loves being at TJC because of the great learning experiences from being on the team and working with the coach. She is still getting used to the differences between here and her hometown, but every day she gets better at what she does.
Her favorite thing about being on the team is that they have all become close on and off the court. DaSilva mentions how everyone around her is always more than happy to help her improve herself even outside of playing volleyball.
Her greatest challenge has been working on her form.
“Now I have to work my blocker in my form. It’s hard because in Brazil it’s totally different. They don’t care about form, and here I have to really try and transition fast,” DaSilva said.
At her high school in Brazil, she won All-American in 2018 for club.
After graduating from TJC, she is not sure about what’s next, but she knows she wants enjoy the moments she has with her team now.