SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bryant University head volleyball coach Theresa Garlacy has announced the program's captains for the 2020 season, as redshirt-senior Sydney Gorski (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) and senior Erika Ward (Rochester, Mich.) have been elected to the leadership roles by the team and coaching staff.
"I'm excited to announce Syd and Erika as our 2020 captains," said Garlacy. "They have taken part in a leadership development program, which has included meetings with the best and brightest professors of leadership and management at Bryant, Michael Roberto and Jim Segovis. They provided counsel on leadership techniques, styles, ways to deal with adversity and literature on the topic. We are also having biweekly meetings with the captains and coaches and just completed a 10-week captains' training program using content from team leadership guru Jeff Janssen. They have run small group exercises with the team and set some great goals for next season.
"Syd and Erika have shown tremendous buy-in and are rising to the challenge of lifting our work ethic, attitude, focus, confidence, mental toughness, team chemistry and all aspects of our program. Under their leadership I see a united team that will work with and for each other. I am very hopeful about the impact they are having on our program."
Gorski returns for her fifth season in Smithfield after playing a role on Bryant teams that have won 77 matches over the last four years. The middle blocker from Ohio returned to action in 2019 after an injury-shortened 2018 and was a key contributor in NEC play, recording a .380 hitting percentage in league matches. Gorski has recorded 180 kills and 74 blocks in 55 career matches played. A four-time NEC Commissioner's Honor Roll recipient, Gorski will graduate in December with a degree In Actuarial Mathematics.
Ward has been an anchor in the Bulldogs' back row since arriving in Smithfield in 2017. The libero from Michigan is Bryant's Division I career record-holder in digs with 1,412 in her first three seasons in Black & Gold and averaged 4.31 per set during Bryant's 2018 NEC Championship season, earning second-team All-NEC honors. Ward is climbing the Bryant career aces list as well with 82 in her career. A three-time NEC Academic Honor Roll recipient with Commissioner's Honor Roll distinction in the last two seasons, Ward will graduate in May 2021 with a degree in Global Supply Chain Management.
Bryant opens the 2020 season Friday, Aug. 28, with the first of three matches in a weekend invitational at Army West Point. The Bulldogs will host New Hampshire in the 2020 home opener at the Chace Athletic Center Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 6 p.m.