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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

‘Fell in love with it’: Brylee Kelly reflects on journey, achievements at Wichita State

Kristy Mace
Brylee Kelly talks to teammate Natalie Foster after a timeout in the second set. Kelly played two sets of the Dec. 6 game versus Drake University.

For Brylee Kelly, her love of volleyball is familial. Her mom, Lisa, played NCAA Division I volleyball for Depaul University in the mid-1990s.

“Growing up, (my mom) didn’t want to push volleyball in my face. She wanted me to kind of find it myself,” Kelly, a redshirt senior outsider hitter, said. “She let me experience other sports and try other things, and one day, I went and tried out … and I immediately fell in love with it.” 

Kelly, who has played volleyball for nine years now, said this has been a true winning season for Wichita State.

“I feel like this year has really kind of brought back the foundation and everything of what this program has built over many years,” Kelly said.

Kelly said the last six years at Wichita State have been the best of her life.

“(It’s) easy to leave and assume that the grass is greener on the other side,” Kelly said. “I’m so grateful that I have stayed here all of my years because I’m leaving with the most impactful friendships and forever connections.”

Senior opposite Sophia Rohling said Kelly’s expertise makes her a special and powerful player on the team. 

“She’s been playing volleyball for a while,” Rohling said. “I think she brings great experience to the court.” 

Rohling said Kelly makes her presence known on that court.

“You can tell whenever she’s on and whenever she’s performing, she’s unstoppable, and there’s nothing we can’t do without her,” Rohling said. “She tries to encourage everyone as best as she can for whatever’s going on and just tries to be a great teammate.” 

Throughout the season, Kelly battled through injuries for the first time in her career, something that she has had to adjust to.

“This is the first year I’ve been injured, and it has affected my play and just playing time all season, so I’ve kind of gotten a little dip of what that is like,” Kelly said.

Head volleyball coach Chris Lamb said he sees Kelly as a conscientious person who cares about everyone on the team and the staff. 

“(Brylee is) super concerned about how people are doing and wants everybody to be one big happy family, ” Lamb said. “I admire that in her.” 

Lamb said he plans to be in Kelly’s life after she’s done with volleyball and graduates from Wichita State.  

“I’ve enjoyed all my time with Brylee; we have a very strong relationship,” Lamb said. “She wants me to speak at her wedding, and I’m sure I’ll always be in touch with Brylee Kelly.” 

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About the Contributors
Jacinda Hall
Jacinda Hall, Reporter
Jacinda Hall is a reporter for The Sunflower. Hall is a senior pursuing a journalism and media production degree with a minor in English. Hall hopes to pursue a career in writing, editing or teaching journalism at the high school level after graduation. Hall uses she/her pronouns.
Kristy Mace
Kristy Mace, Former photo editor
Kristy Mace was the photo editor for The Sunflower during the 2023-2024 year. She's majoring in psychology. Mace hopes to go on to get her Ph.D. and become a neuropsychologist. She does professional photography aside from The Sunflower.

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