GETTING TO KNOW: Janelle Sykes

is enjoying some of the best success in its near 50 years of history. That success has come both on the playing field and in the classroom. That success does not happen without the hardwork and dedication of our 270-plus student-athletes.

However, there's more than just the classroom and playing field for our student-athletes and that's why every Wednesday will bring you a Getting to Know feature on one of our student-athletes.

This week, we chatted with junior Janelle Sykes of the VCU volleyball team and current secretary of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Sykes and the Rams are off to one of the best starts in school history, having won six straight and sit at 16-4 overall and a perfect 5-0 in Atlantic 10 Conference play.

Sykes recently sat down with VCU Center for Sports Leadership Graduate Assistant Zach Reynolds.

Here's your chance to Get to Know: Janelle Sykes.

ZR: How did you decide VCU was the right place for you?
JS: I went on several visits to other schools, but none of them seemed like a good fit for me. I prayed a lot about finding the right school for me and I knew I would feel at peace when I finally found it. I visited VCU in the Spring of 2011 and actually committed the day of my visit. I was excited about the Exercise Science program, the campus, the team, and all the other opportunities that were in store for me upon choosing to attend VCU.

ZR: Beyond sports, where do you see yourself in ten years?
JS: In ten years, I will be 29. I hope to married with kids and established in my career as a Physical Therapist.

ZR: What are your goals for the season? 
JS: To win the A10 championship and make it into the NCAA tournament.

ZR: What is your favorite athletic moment at VCU?
JS: My favorite athletic moment at VCU was our conference opener against Dayton this year where we stopped their 33-match home win streak against Atlantic 10 teams. The game winning point was an amazing kill by Kalah Jones right down the line. She truly made a statement with that kill. Every single player contributed to that win and it was an amazing feeling to come together after the match and celebrate such a hard fought victory.

ZR: What is one thing many people do not know about you?
JS: I started swimming competitively at the age of 5 and went on to break eleven records before the age of fourteen. Nine of which I still hold today.

ZR: If you could be any fictional character, who would it be, and why?
JS: Katniss Everdeen because she is a fierce female and a force to be reckoned with ** z-snap **

ZR: Is there a professional athlete, or former player, whose skills you emulate?
JS: That's a tough one. I would like to pretend Kerri Walsh, but I don't think I am as fast as her. I would say Marisa DaLee from Arizona. She is who I want to be like by the time my career ends.

Quick hits- Favorites
Movie- Madagascar
TV Show- Grey's Anatomy
Food- Steak & mashed potatoes
Place to eat in Richmond- The Blacksheep
Place to see in Richmond- The James River Canal Walk
Musical artist- That's hard to say. I pick a new favorite artist daily depending on my mood.
Pro Athlete- Michael Jordan
Pro Team- Pittsburgh Steelers
Sport (other than the one you play at VCU) - Basketball