Pressure Is A Privilege
By Mary Patalita
Special to GoHolyCross.com
Holy Cross volleyball alum Megan Lynch ‘13 is accustomed to being in the spotlight. Lynch currently holds the school record and ranks eighth all-time in Patriot League history in career kills. She was a three-time second team All-Patriot League selection. During her career at Holy Cross, she accumulated the most kills (1,486) in program history and had 1,108 career digs making her the only player in school history to have over 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs. As the first volleyball player in league history to be named to the Patriot League All-Academic team three times, Lynch balanced school and academics successfully. She learned from her experience in the limelight that pressure is a privilege.
In addition to being recognized by Holy Cross and the Patriot League during her tenure as a student, Lynch was named to the Patriot League 25th Anniversary Team. “I think my jaw just fell open,” said Lynch when she found out that she was selected to this memorialized team. “Playing college volleyball was such a pivotal part of my life, so being commemorated in this way was a huge honor to say the least. One of the Army players in my year also made the team, so we exchanged congratulations over Facebook after the article was released. The Patriot League has that feeling of camaraderie.”
As a distinguished Holy Cross volleyball player holding a multitude of records, Lynch realizes that success does not come easy. “For me, [being a record holder] is the statistic that validates the training and sacrifices I made to this sport,” said Lynch. “It was the cherry on top of many years of hard work and pushing myself to the limit while no one else was watching.”
Looking back on her experiences as a student-athlete, Lynch appreciates the lessons she learned from competing. “The tough times turned into lessons and the laughs turned into stories,” said Lynch. “You really have to enjoy the ride. Plus, when you are in school, you don’t really appreciate that you can unapologetically wear sweatpants whenever you want, that part doesn’t last forever!”
The most important lesson she learned, however, is that pressure is a privilege. “Whether it’s the pressure of getting your team the kill when it’s tied 15-15 in Game 5 or trying to balance practices, games, classes, internships and social calendars, the fact that you have that pressure means someone believes you can do it, that you can reach a higher standard,” said Lynch. “Raising the bar is the Holy Cross way and that lesson certainly pays off after school in terms of bringing a strong work ethic and leadership skills to a full-time job.”
Even before her time as a Crusader, Lynch learned from watching her cousin Katie play volleyball at Holy Cross. Her cousin set the single-season digs per set record with 4.57 in 1999 and graduated as the all-time leader in career digs with 1,285. Watching her play gave Lynch someone to look up to. “Oddly enough, family legacy was almost my reason for not coming to Holy Cross, as during my college search I was very focused on carving my own unique path,” said Lynch. “Luckily enough, I decided to keep an open mind and take my official visit to HC. The feeling I had once on campus paired with the memories of seeing my cousin play ultimately made it the place for me. Hopefully we can get another Lynch Crusader volleyball player in my lifetime!”
After graduation, Lynch moved to Hoboken, N.J. and has lived there since. She works as a Senior Client Engagement Manager for Cigna HealthCare in New York City, and she is still involved in the volleyball community. “I still play volleyball all of the time!” said Lynch. “I’m a part of two weekly competitive leagues in NYC and Hoboken, and I try to play in as many high level tournaments as possible on the weekends. The volleyball community is one I always want to be part of; I’ve made so many lifelong friends through this common thread. Plus, nothing is better than crushing a volleyball to the floor after a long day of work.”
Playing volleyball at Holy Cross was a memorable experience for Lynch and one that she has carried with her into the professional world. As a record-breaking athlete at Holy Cross, Lynch learned that pressure is a privilege and has continued to use this motto in her life after college.
Go here to view the Patriot League 25th Anniversary Volleyball Team.
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