AP NEWS

After summer volleyball injury, NU’s Straub glad she took up bowling

April 11, 2019

When Meghan Straub went down with a torn Achilles tendon at a summer volleyball tournament after her junior year of high school, her athletic path took a different route.

The Lincoln Pius X graduate had aspirations of a college volleyball scholarship and had received interest from Gonzaga and other NCAA Division I teams.

“I was just running for a ball,” she said, “and it felt like someone had shot my Achilles. I just felt the tendon go up my calf.”

The injury sidelined Straub from volleyball for good and she hasn’t played competitively since.

It wasn’t until after the injury, rehab and recovery that her other path found its footing.

Her dad just happened to be the women’s bowling coach at one of the most prestigious programs in the country.

Nebraska coach Bill Straub didn’t want to pressure his daughter into taking a roster opening he had on the Husker team, but he did make sure she knew it was an option.

“Nobody was necessarily seeking Meghan,” Straub said. “She wasn’t a player, she just had the tools and the capability to be a player. It turned out great.”

At first, Meghan was a little hesitant. She said she spent her whole life having people ask her if she wanted to bowl for her dad, and she always said no.

“I hadn’t envisioned myself bowling in college,” Meghan said. “It wasn’t because I didn’t want to bowl here, it just wasn’t something on my radar for what I was going to do after high school. But when the opportunity actually came up, it wasn’t a tough one (decision) to make.”

So she became a Husker, following in her mother’s footsteps. Bill met his wife, Kim, when she was bowling for Nebraska in the early 1990s. Kim was a four-time All-American.

Meghan has held her own on the lanes, earning third-team All-America honors as a junior and first-team All-America honors this season.

The accolades came after a lot of hard work. Coach Straub is the first to admit his daughter had a lot to learn. And she did.

“I just shut off volleyball completely that summer after my senior year (of high school),” Meghan said. “I spent all the time I would have been practicing for volleyball on bowling.”

Bill had a tall task of coaching his daughter.

“I had to play it more careful than most anyone else,” he said. “Because I didn’t want anyone to think there was nepotism involved with the time of playing she got. I was probably tougher on her than I wanted to be on anyone else.”

Meghan has removed the need to worry about nepotism. This season, she’s won two individual titles and has a pinfall average of 212.4 over her 48 games. She had an incredible average of 232.3 at the Columbia 300 Saints competition in January.

As the Huskers head into the NCAA Championships in Wickliffe, Ohio, starting Thursday, there is no doubt they will lean on their senior who didn’t have any intentions of bowling in college.

No matter the path it took to get to where she is today, she’s happy to be there.

“I wouldn’t have wanted to play for anybody else. I believe that more and more each year I am here.”

Briefly

Straub and teammate Raquel Orozco were named first-team All-Americans at the NCAA Bowling Awards Dinner on Wednesday night in Wickliffe. Allison Morris was named an honorable mention All-American.