It took just two practices for Michigan freshman Meghan Bowman
to literally face the reality of collegiate volleyball.

“My second day here I was nailed in the head six times,” Bowman
said of her first attempts at blocking kills in practice.

But a few headaches, the fact that she is replacing one of
Michigan’s all-time best blockers and a last minute decision to
play collegiate volleyball instead of basketball haven’t impeded
Bowman’s progress on the court thus far.

“I think right now she is only scratching the surface of how
good she can be,” Michigan coach Mark Rosen said. “If she can
continue to work as hard as she is working, she can become a great
volleyball player.”

One only needs to look at Bowman’s accelerated learning curve to
see that she has great potential.

Bowman began playing club volleyball in her sophomore year of
high school, while most serious players get started much earlier.
And she played for the enjoyment of the game, not to be recruited
by colleges.

“I started playing club volleyball, and then I started getting
all these letters from colleges,” she said. “I was not intending on
playing volleyball in college, I was going to play basketball.”

Bowman received basketball scholarships from several “small
schools.”

Luckily for Michigan, she chose to play volleyball.

The 6-foot-1 Bowman replaces Katrina Lehman, one of Michigan’s
most dominating middle blockers in team history, as the only new
starter this season.

Lehman, who graduated last year, is the Michigan record-holder
for career blocks and block assists and is ninth all-time with 933
kills.

“Not only was Katrina a good blocker, but she was our best
player getting us in transition,” Rosen said. “She was good
everyday. Every game you knew what you were going to get.”

While Lehman leaves behind a seemingly unparalleled legacy,
Bowman has shown so far that she has the ability to be a dominating
presence in the middle.

In four of the past five matches, she has registered five blocks
and currently ranks second among freshmen in the Big Ten for
blocking.

Rosen admits that Bowman is a work in progress. To facilitate
her progression into the collegiate game, she plays in the middle
between Erin Moore and Nicole Poquette, two of the best blockers in
the Big Ten.

“We haven’t put much offensive pressure on her,” Rosen said.
“Everyday we’re trying to get a little more out of her
offensively.”

Rosen says increased responsibility on Bowman throughout the
next few weeks should prepare her for the upcoming Big Ten
schedule.

And one last road-trip, Rosen stated, wouldn’t hurt his team in
preparing for Big Ten play. Michigan (3-3) will travel to Tennessee
this weekend to compete in the Toyota LV Classic.

The Wolverines will battle East Tennessee State (1-5) on Friday
and Cal-State Fullerton (5-2) and Tennessee (5-1) on Saturday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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