By Taylor Wilson
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
For most family members, attending the same school is not just a coincidence, rather a plan to carry on and enjoy a loving relationship at the next level of their educational careers. Ironically for two of Texas Tech’s top female athletes, their kinship wasn't revealed until they arrived in Lubbock.
Growing up in hometowns within an hour of each other, Megan and Amanda Dowdy were not even aware that the other existed until last summer when they met each other for the first time.
“When I heard I had a cousin, another Dowdy for that matter, coming to Tech to play sports, I was so excited,” said Megan, who believes Amanda is the better athlete of the two. “When we first met, it seemed that we knew each other for years and we instantly clicked.”
Megan, a senior from Leander, has been a solid performer for coach Stacey Totman and Tech’s women’s golf team. During the fall, she carded a top-five, two top-10 and three top-20 finishes. Megan concluded the fall season with her first career win, taking medalist honors at the Challenge at Wolfdancer with a three-day total of 221.
Megan was a highly-decorated athlete at Leander High and she didn't hesitate when Totman offered the opportunity to walk on at Tech.
“Thank goodness after meeting with Stacey, she decided to take a chance and let me walk-on,” said Megan. “I took the opportunity without any hesitation and worked extremely hard to show that I deserved to be a player on the women’s golf team.”
Megan's determination and hard work is also in her cousin's DNA.
Amanda, a freshman from Lexington, has been successful on the Red Raiders' volleyball team. She became the first Texas Tech player named to the All-Big 12 Freshman team. Amanda led the Red Raiders with 301 kills, 66 total blocks, a .286 hitting percentage on the season, and recorded a career-high 20 kills in two separate matches.
Amanda is a two-sport athlete and in the second semester she has competed for Coach Wes Kittley's indoor track and field team. In the high jump, she has collected three top-five finishes and has cleared a career-best mark of 5’-7.75”.
“I wanted to come here to make the program strong and better than ever,” said Amanda, whose confidence and determination are strong personality traits. “I knew I would love it here. I wanted to compete in the Big 12 and Tech was just a perfect fit.”
Although the two have only known each other for a short amount of time, Amanda recognizes the special relationship she and Megan have developed.
“I look up to Megan and she has been a role model for me,” Amanda said. “She has done so much here at Tech and I hope to do the same, it's awesome that we are family and we're both getting a chance of a lifetime at the same school.”
Megan, who was second on the women’s golf team last fall with a scoring average of just 74.5, also acknowledged what an exciting opportunity and a pleasant surprise it was.
“It was a surprise because I didn’t even know I had a cousin that was around my age that played competitive sports,” said Megan, “I was so excited to meet her and grow a relationship with her.”
Being the older, more experienced cousin, Megan has stepped up and has given advice to Amanda that she hopes will help in her academic and athletic careers at Tech.
“The main thing I told her that would help her was time management and to utilize the study hall hours the athletic department requires for freshman athletes,” Megan said. “As for advice to be a better athlete, I just tell her to believe in herself because she is playing here for a reason.”
Amanda admires her older cousin and hopes to follow in her footsteps.
“Just knowing what kind of person she is, what she has accomplished and the kind of example she gives,” Amanda said, “is enough for me to want those same characteristics when it comes to athletics and really everything else as well.”
The Dowdys have built a trusting and caring relationship while at Tech. The two plan to be roommates next year as Amanda continues her career as a two-sport athlete, while Megan plans to stay in Lubbock and continue to work toward her goal to become a professional golfer.
“Amanda doesn’t really need much advice because she is so motivated and driven to do well in her sports,” said Megan, who has become one of Amanda’s biggest fans. “She has a clear vision of what she wants to accomplish in her life and as long as she keeps that focus she will continue to do great things.”