Lund proves that not all dreams are laid out on a clean-cut path

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Megan Lund (6) attempts a serve in Marquette’s sweep over DePaul Feb. 12. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Sophomore defensive specialist Megan Lund is having a memorable college experience. Her own personal drive and determination has allowed her to achieve one of her dream goals. From being a Marquette volleyball team manager to becoming a practice member and now playing in a Division I college volleyball match, her journey has been unique.

“When I was playing club and in high school, playing volleyball in college was always one of my goals,” Lund said. “But my top goal was to go to a good school for academics, somewhere I could see myself academically and if volleyball worked into that equation, then that is where it would kind of end up.”

Marquette University was the exact post-secondary institution she was looking for. She was accepted into the six-year physical therapy program, with aspirations of opening her own physical therapy practice.

With her decision to attend Marquette, she reached out to Marquette volleyball head coach Ryan Theis to discuss possibilities of joining the team. 

“Megan originally wanted to come to Marquette to play volleyball as a freshman,” Theis said. “But we already had 16 people, (so) we said, ‘listen, it doesn’t make much sense for us to carry 17,’ and we met with her.”

While the roster was already filled up, Lund was still offered a position as a team manager her first year. Her chemistry with the players on the team allowed her to easily make the transition to the practice squad.  

Due to COVID-19 postponing the regular start of the 2020-21 season, from the fall to spring, the squad’s seven seniors were left with decisions to make regarding their last season of play. 

Four seniors decided to graduate early, and one picked up an internship that did not allow her time to finish out the season. With the team down five players, Lund officially got the opportunity to be added to the active roster.

“She’s just great,” Theis said. “So we said ‘hey, sorry we were full as a freshman, but we could use you, do you want to do it?’ She said ‘absolutely,’ and has been with us ever since.”

With the official welcome onto the team, Lund said she, sometimes, still cannot believe the reality of actually suiting up in a Golden Eagle jersey.

“When I started out, I was just thinking I was going to be a manager and that was kind of it. Then the same thing when I was a practice player,” Lund said. “Now that I am on the team, it is still very surreal. I kind of have to remind myself before game day (that I’m) actually on this team right now.”

Although the Pasadena, California native said she thought her volleyball career had come to a close when she entered into college, she still took up the opportunity to join the club volleyball team along with going outside to volley for fun with her friends.

“I have always been a hard worker. I’ve been playing volleyball since I was nine years old, so it’s kind of part of who I am, (I) give my all and always try to be my best,” Lund said. “It was interesting, because my freshman year I kind of said goodbye to volleyball and was on the club team here, but this door has been opened back up for me.” 

The 5-foot-11 defensive specialist said she had tremendous support from her family and friends back home on the West Coast. Despite over 2,000 miles being between Wisconsin and California, Lund’s family has a soft spot for Marquette, as they are big fans of the school, which has made the journey a lot easier for her.

“Megan Lund is a terrific kid, from a volleyball family,” Theis said. “… (and)  just a great family. Her dad is a huge supporter of Marquette.”

Lund has only been wearing the blue and gold jersey for a limited time. However, she has been able to make her way onto the court on gameday, including the team’s late-January sweep over Drake University in Cedar Falls, Iowa. 

When she gets the opportunities to get into the game, those moments are nothing short of heartwarming, as her relationships with her coaches and teammates go far beyond just the sport itself.

“I have been in for a couple points, usually when we are winning by a lot,” Lund said. “They call me Lund, so they go ‘Lund, you’re in! You’re in!’ It’s nerve-wracking, but at the same time it’s exciting and fun. I love playing and being in that position to be called upon and deliver for the team.”

With the underclassman’s demonstration of persistence and optimism through the process of where she has ended up, Lund said she just goes with the flow and focuses on what she can do to become be better in all aspects of life, which has not gone unnoticed by her coach. 

“We just loved her, she’s great,” Theis said. “She is extremely mature, (and) easy to talk to.”

This story was written by Molly Gretzlock. She can be reached at molly.gretzlock@marquette.edu or Twitter @MollyGretzlock.