Like Alvin, Simon and Theodore or Hughey, Duey and Louey, Katie, Lyndsay and Erin bring together three completely different personalities and styles to create the ultimate partnership. As captains of the Michigan volleyball team, junior Erin Cobler and sophomores Katie Bruzdzinski and Lyndsay Miller form the ultimate leader: outgoing and loud, yet controlled and detail-oriented.”The three of us pretty much cover all of the personalities on our team,” Bruzdzinski said. “I think it’s good that we all are a little different because we can connect with different people and that gives everyone options on who they can go to and who they feel comfortable with.”Despite their age, coach Mark Rosen didn’t give a second thought to appointing Miller and Bruzdzinski as captains. Both Wolverines have held leadership positions on their high school and regional volleyball teams, and neither is a stranger to helping her teammates get things done and rising to the occasion to lead the team.”It’s different with every team,” Rosen said. “With this group, it just seemed to be a clear decision. I never had any hesitation with those two because they are great kids and great leaders, and we just felt that they would do a good job and work well with our current team.”On the court, Bruzdzinski epitomizes dedication and composure. Other players know they can always look to her to see how something should be done, and that encourages them to push themselves a little bit more and try as hard as they can. On the other end of the spectrum is Miller – Bruzdzinski’s best friend – and the loudest of the bunch. She is constantly yelling and cheering for her teammates during games. Miller feeds them the enthusiasm they need to go on big runs.”I don’t even think about (being loud) because that’s how I play,” Miller said. “It’s just so much fun to play, and I think people should express that. It is so much fun to look back and say, ‘Oh, yeah, I helped start that spark.’ That’s a pretty cool feeling.”Bringing the much-needed experience to the equation is Cobler, who redshirted her freshman year and has been with the team for four years. Considered the most detail-oriented player on the team, Cobler tends to lead on a more personal level. She often talks to her teammates one-on-one and gives them the individual attention that they so frequently need. Coming into a program with such high standards and aspirations, the captains take educating the younger players very seriously. They take time out to teach their teammates about what it means to be a Michigan student athlete. As captains, their job doesn’t end when they leave the gym. They understand that, as leaders they have to wear many hats.”Sometimes it’s encouragement, sometimes it’s pushing, and sometimes it’s challenging them a little bit,” Rosen said of Cobler, Bruzdzinski and Miller. “I think they fulfill all of those roles at different times. They are playing well, they are leading by example, and making sure to educate the younger players on what the expectations are and what college life is like.”Despite the fact that it’s still early in the season, the Wolverines have already been through quite a bit. They got off to a rocky start before coming back to win both the Michigan Pepsi/Nike Invitational and the Georgia Invitational. Even though the team is happy with its recent success, the captains have a slightly different perspective on the team’s progression.”I feel like it is my responsibility as well as the other captains’ to lead us in the direction that we need to go and to make sure we are always getting better and always looking forward,” Cobler said.

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