How Erica Brok and Mackenzie Morris became the all-time winningest duo in FAU beach volleyball history

Brok and Morris reflect on how their constant hard work and commitment have been their key to success with the team.


Courtesy of FAU Athletics

Photo of Mackenzie Morris (left, #20) and Erica Brok (right, #4).

Katherine Ambrosio Villegas, Social Media Manager

Life can bring people from different paths together as unexpected things can happen. 

Both Erica Brok and Mackenzie Morris were paired together during their freshman year at FAU without knowing each other. Now entering their graduate years, they have made history for the beach volleyball team.

Brok, born in Ormond Beach, Fla., obtained a degree in mathematics and is currently pursuing an MBA with a concentration in finance. Morris, born in Jacksonville, Fla., obtained a degree in Pre-Business and is currently working on an MBA with a concentration in Business Administration and Management. 

For Morris, the feeling that she gets when playing beach volleyball is indescribable.

“It has always been my outlet for fun. It has been my life for eight or so years and has been the root to so many great relationships and memories. I am so blessed that I’ve had the opportunity to play for five years in college and soon professionally,” Morris said.

Her goal is to be able to compete and hold her own professional tour.

For Brok, beach volleyball is her life. 

“[Beach volleyball has] been a part of my life so long and I spend most of my day, every day playing beach volleyball, so I can’t really see a world without beach volleyball in it,” Brok said. 

Brok’s passion for beach volleyball began when she was younger in Daytona Beach. Originally, she began playing indoor volleyball in high school, but destiny led her to beach volleyball.

Brok said she really liked the fact that beach volleyball only required two people and how it was her responsibility if they won or lost.

“I’ve always liked the beach. I grew up in a beach town and I love the sound of the water. I love the sand so it was honestly an ideal environment for me and that’s why I wanted to go that route,” Brok said.

Brok played soccer for 14 years but felt that soccer was not the route she wanted to take. After playing four years for varsity and high school, she decided that she did not like the conditioning. 

She said she knew college conditioning for soccer was going to be worse and that it was not for her. Hence, she went on the beach volleyball route.

Athlete-wise, Brok’s inspiration growing up was always Serena Williams. She said she always admired her and loved everything she represented. 

What convinced Brok to attend FAU and be a part of the women’s beach volleyball team was the coaches, the location, and the university campus.

“I love how close it is to the beach. It’s just a nice area and that’s really what sold it for me,” Brok said. “The campus [is] beautiful and I knew some of the other places were in cities and I couldn’t see myself living in a city.”

Since Brok joined the team, she said it was a bit rocky in the beginning, but things continue to get better every year. 

“Last year was [the] best year I think we’ve ever had, and we’re just going up from there,” Brok said. “Our team chemistry is amazing, I love everyone on the team right now, and so it really helps us. Winning the conference was definitely due to our team chemistry last year and how we just had fun.” 

When playing the sport, Brok’s motivation is her family and having fun.

“I love the sport of beach volleyball and I haven’t lost that yet, which a lot of people do when they play a college sport because it becomes like a work or a job to them. So just having fun [and] I’m also doing it for my dad.” 

For Morris, her passion for beach volleyball began in middle school at Ponte Vedra Beach. She started off playing indoor volleyball, but hurt her back during a tournament. This led her into transitioning into beach volleyball because it was easier on her body.

She said that when growing up, she did not like being coached that much. She loved that in beach volleyball, it was much more relaxed, had music playing, and was outside on the beach.

Growing up, Morris’ brother has been her inspiration. “He was kind of like the angel child. So he definitely led me in a good direction and on a good path,” she said.

Morris decided to attend FAU and be a part of the women’s beach volleyball team because she loved the environment.

“[The] campus is obviously beautiful. The coaches were super cool. I’ve never had coaches who actually cared about us and were fun to be around,” Morris said.

Ever since Morris joined the team, she said that her time has evolved for the better. She loves how fun it is and how everyone gets along.

Both Brok and Morris made history for FAU’s beach volleyball team by becoming the no. 1 pair on the team, helped the team be ranked 11th nationally, have the most individual wins in FAU history, and led the team to its first-ever Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) Championship. 

Brok describes these achievements as “surreal.”

“I don’t feel like it actually happened. We get a little embarrassed but we’re just there every day having fun to get better and do whatever we can to get our team to do better,” Brok said.

Morris says that these achievements are not only because of her and Brok but because of the whole team and their hard work. “We’re all FAU,” she said.

Abby Grace, a teammate of Brok and Morris, describes both as amazing people.

“[Brok and Morris] are incredible beach players and some great quality women. I know they’re going to go very far in life after college, and I can’t wait to see where they end up. They have done so much for our team on and off the court,” Grace said. “The team knows that they are a very high-level pair and we all have confidence that they are a secure win for us. Not only that, but they push us in practice so that every person on the team stays playing at a high level.”

For both Brok and Morris, the key to their ongoing success has been their chemistry together and the amount of work they put into it.

“We go to CrossFit every day and we do our lifts and practice. At practice, we’re always trying our hardest. We’ll put in extra reps we’ll do. On Wednesdays, there’s optional practices [so] we’ll go to get better. Our work ethic is really good [and] we always want to get better,” Brok said. 

“[Chemistry], you can tell when you’re playing with somebody who works, like who clicks and doesn’t click. I think because we were two freshmen put together, we had nothing to lose. We were just doing what we could to survive out there,” Morris said.

Brok says she will continue to work her hardest, have fun, and help make the team go to the nationals this year. 

For Morris, she says that she will continue to strive to help the team as she believes they have a good foundation and it will translate into more success.

Katherine Ambrosio Villegas is a staff writer and social media manager for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].