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April 15, 2009


SMITHFIELD, R.I. - After a strong inaugural season of Division I play in 2008, the Bryant University volleyball team is ready to jumpstart Year Two, and head coach Theresa Garlacy is pleased to announce the addition of a quartet of talented incoming freshmen to the Bulldogs' returning core, a group that will put the Bulldogs in prime shape to take on the Northeast Conference in 2009.

Rebecca Meyer (Commack, N.Y.), Macy Mitravich (Waimanalo, Hawaii), Samantha Whitham (Weymouth, Mass.) and Jadith Del Carmen Lorenzo (Lawrence, Mass.) join the Bulldogs in 2009, hailing from three different states, to help Bryant continue its success at the highest level of NCAA competition.

Jadith Del Carmen Lorenzo
Samantha Whitham
Rebecca Meyer
Macy-Alexandra Mitravich

The Bulldogs are happy to welcome the quartet, who will look to fill holes across the court.

Lorenzo, a 5-foot-7 setter who doubles as a libero, will look to slide into the starting role in her first season with the Bulldogs, who were left without a setter midway through the 2008 season.

The Merrimack Valley Conference Player of the Year in 2008, Lorenzo played four years of varsity volleyball for Lawrence High School, where she was named team MVP all four seasons. She also led her club team, Latitude 42 Club, to a No. 1 ranking in New England in the spring of 2009.

Among her many distinctions, Lorenzo was named the 2008 Lawrence Eagle Tribune Player of the Year and the Central New England Volleyball Academy's Ryan Bourque Award winner for dedication to volleyball. She was named a Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic Award winner as a junior and senior and is a three-time Massachusetts Girls' Volleyball Coaches Association Division 1 All-State selection (2006-08).

A four-year Honor Roll student at Lawrence High, Lorenzo plans to study international business at Bryant.

"Jadith's greatest asset is her quickness to the ball," said Garlacy. "She brings impressive credentials and versatility to our program and we look forward to what she can contribute in 2009."

But she will not be the only rookie competing for the setter spot. Whitham, another 5-foot-7 setter/defensive specialist, joins the Black and Gold after being a four-year starter for Notre Dame Academy in Hingham, Mass.

Whitham was named team MVP as a senior captain in 2008 and received a Massachusetts Coaches Association Division 2 All-State nod as well as a Boston Herald All-Scholastic selection. A two-time Patriot Ledger All-Scholastic nominee and Catholic Conference All-Star, Whitham owns the school record in career assists with 1,557, leading her squad to the state tournament three of her four years.

Whitham played for the Mass Patriots club volleyball team, top-ranked in New England in 2008, and was the setter for the Gold Medal winning Bay State Games team.

But her true athleticism shines through on the court not just with a net in the middle, but with nets on both ends, as Whitham also played four years of basketball at Notre Dame, guiding her team to the 2009 Massachusetts state title as the team's starting point guard.

"Sam is strong and solid in all facets of the game," said Garlacy. "Her athleticism and drive will keep her competitive here at Bryant and will add to the success and character of our program."

Meyer, who at 5-foot-4 will be the shortest member of the Bulldog side, comes to Smithfield, R.I. after a successful four-year career at Commack High School in New York. A defensive specialist/libero, Meyer was a four-time Scholar-Athlete Award winner who was highly involved in student government, serving as Congress President and in the student council, as well as serving on the Class of 2009 Executive Board.

Meyer played club for the Island Volleyball Academy from 2006-08 and spent her final year in 2009 with the Long Island Blaze Volleyball Club.

A National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society member, Meyer plans to study marketing.

"With her stellar ball control, Rebecca has the potential to give us great depth defensively," said Garlacy.

Hailing from the furthest U.S. state, Mitravich becomes the first Hawaii native to join the Bulldog program. A 5-foot-10 opposite/outside, who has the potential to play all the way around, Mitravich spent four years playing for the Sacred Hearts Academy varsity volleyball team in Honolulu, also playing for the Jammers Volleyball Club as well.

Mitravich guided her 2006 team to Division II State Championship, being named to the all-tournament team that same year.  A team captain as a senior, she garnered an all-state honorable mention bid in 2008.

Mitravich is as strong in the classroom as she is on the court. A National Honor Society member and four-year Principal's List Recipient, Mitravich was an honor roll student freshman through senior year. She is a four-time nominee to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum and participated in the World Quest Academic Competition as a sophomore, junior and senior.

Mitravich has been a member of the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council since 2006 and was a 2008 member of the Soroptimist Club, an international women's organization for international women's issues.

"Macy is explosive in her approach," Garlacy said. "She is strong, quick and exhibits quality ball control skills. We are looking forward to her balancing out our front line."

The four join fellow incoming freshman Karli Davis (Freeport, Ill.) and Emily Kaup (Chandler, Ariz.) to make up one of the Bulldog volleyball program's strongest and most diverse freshman classes.

"This year's recruiting class is one of the biggest and best to ever commit to playing at Bryant University and our volleyball program," said Garlacy. "Practice will be extremely competitive because of the depth these six add, especially at the middle spot, which is something new for our program. We are hoping for some instant contributions from several of our freshmen and the battle for starting roles will be a good one."

The Bulldogs will participate in a full Northeast Conference schedule in their second of a four-year transition process. Bryant will open the 2009 season on the road on August 28 and 29 at the Toledo Tournament.