By Jim Wrobel
Special to GoHolyCross.com
Over her four-year outstanding career, Megan Lynch set new standards for current and future members of the Holy Cross volleyball program to reach. Lynch, who grew up watching her cousin Katie Lynch (Class of 2001) play volleyball at Holy Cross, finished her career as the only Crusader to ever post over 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs. She holds the school's career kills record with 1,486 and is eighth on the Patriot League all-time career kills list as she is the only Crusader to be currently ranked on a career Patriot League list for any statistical category. Lynch has three of the top four school single-season kills performances as she set the school kills record of 442 in 2010. She was also only the second Crusader to earn All-Patriot League honors three times. Lynch is the only volleyball player from around the league to be named to the Patriot League All-Academic team three times. "Megan set records and showed the underclassmen how hard work can lead to great accomplishments," said head coach Erin Cady.
A native of Mendham, N.J., Lynch started playing competitive volleyball at 12-years old and at 15-years old she joined a club volleyball team. She went on to have a stellar career at Mendham High School where she set the school records for career kills with 875 and career aces with 141.
Lynch, who also received Patriot League Academic Honor Roll accolades three times, was a two-year captain, a two-year member of the Holy Cross Leadership Academy and is a Big Sister in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program in Worcester, talked to GoHolyCross.com about her four years as a student-athlete.
GoHolyCross.com: Your cousin Katie also had an outstanding career at Holy Cross as she holds the program's single-season digs per game record with 4.57 in 1999, graduated as the all-time leader in career digs with 1,285 and earned second team All-Patriot League honors twice. Did watching her play inspire you to play Division I volleyball?
Megan Lynch: As a little kid, I would go to a bunch of my cousin Katie's matches at Holy Cross. I remember the team let me ride on the bus from their match to dinner and as an eight year old that meant the world to me. After seeing her achieve so much at HC, I knew I wanted to follow in her footsteps, although I never imagined I would follow so closely! Overall, she definitely inspired me to start playing and once I touched a volleyball I never looked back.
GoHolyCross.com: Why did you choose Holy Cross?
Lynch: There are so many little reasons why I chose Holy Cross, but it really came down to a feeling. The atmosphere surrounding the team felt hopeful and I wanted to play a pivotal role in fulfilling that vision for the program.
GoHolyCross.com: What are some of your favorite things about being on the Holy Cross volleyball team?
Lynch: Holy Cross volleyball has always been more of a family than a team and I cherish the friendships I've made. Whether it is a 6:00 a.m. conditioning or the fifth set of a match, these are the girls I want to be in the trenches with. I also loved having the platform to compete with other amazing schools. Everyone loves a good rivalry.
GoHolyCross.com: The team is very active in volunteering in the local community. Can you talk about what it means to the team and why is it so important to volunteer and help out the community?
Lynch: Volunteerism is a value embedded in the cornerstones and culture of Holy Cross. As a team, we have embraced that notion as a way we can better interact with the Worcester community. In particular, building bonds with our "littles" at Big Brothers/Big Sister has probably been our most fun and rewarding experience.
GoHolyCross.com: What will you miss about Holy Cross?
Lynch: I will miss the feeling I have on game day when I suit up in Purple and White and have the opportunity to compete as a representative for my school. I thrive on competition, teamwork and rivalry, and being a student-athlete at Holy Cross gave me the chance to embody all of these things. I will also miss having an excuse to wear purple every day. It works well with my hopelessly pale skin complexion!
GoHolyCross.com: Who have been some positive influences in your life on and off the court? Why have they been a positive influence? Can you talk about the support of your family?
Lynch: The support of my family is beyond words. In my four years, my mom and dad missed almost no matches. My dad even live streamed one of our games when he was in India (at 5:00 a.m.)! They are my biggest cheerleaders, supporters and the first people I want to see after we play. My younger brother Timmy and my cousin Katie also keep me grounded and remind me why I love to play. As for sports role models, I had the opportunity to work for Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath in the summer of 2011 and the lessons I learned from him about what it means to be a champion also helped shape who I am as an athlete.
GoHolyCross.com: What is your most memorable volleyball moment playing here?
Lynch: Our senior night match versus Navy during my sophomore year has to be my most memorable. It was such a high intensity match and we ended up winning 15-13 in the fifth game off of two of my kills. I remember how hard our team fought for our seniors and the rush of adrenaline. It will always be such a great memory.
GoHolyCross.com: Is there anything that the coaches told you that you needed to improve on earlier in your career and you feel like you improved?
Lynch: When I came in my freshman year, Coach Cafarchia helped me build up my mental game and that is a lesson I've always taken with me. It will always be a work in progress, but focusing on that element of my game helped me excel early on.
GoHolyCross.com: What do you plan on doing after graduation?
Lynch: I'm in the process of applying to a variety of jobs in the sales, marketing and consulting fields. I've been blessed with several amazing internships including Cosmopolitan Magazine and marketing for Joe Namath. These experiences have really shaped who I am professionally and where I'm heading.