Sunday 1 August 2021 | 9:08 am
Meghan Dryburgh loves a good challenge.
This is one of the reasons the 2021 graduate Baldwin plans to pursue her accomplished basketball career in Washington & Jefferson.
Dryburgh enlisted on June 2 to Presidents after a four-year college career in high school. She has an excellent GPA 4.3 and plans to major in biology at university.
“Meghan is the type of player who will stand out no matter where she goes. I have absolutely no doubts that she will stand out at a W&J,” said Baldwin coach Jamal Woodson. “Meghan’s last year has been absolutely phenomenal. .
W&J is a member of the NCAA Division III Presidents Athletic Conference. Coached by Jina DeRubbo, the Presidents racked up a conference record of 6-0 in a shortened 2020-21 season, advanced to the PAC championship game and finished 8-1 overall.
Dryburgh was also recruited by other schools such as Mansfield, Millersville, John Carroll, Saint Vincent, Waynesburg, Baldwin-Wallace and Carlow.
“I had a number of interested schools and even a few D-II offers, but ultimately W&J seemed like the best fit for me both academically and athletically,” said Dryburgh. “I envisioned six or seven schools with CAO, PSAC and PAC, but I chose W&J because they wanted to challenge me.
“The professors there were very enthusiastic about their curriculum. They know how to point biology majors in the right direction and I really liked that.
A 5-foot-11 guard / forward, Dryburgh will be one of seven freshmen on the W&J team. She will be joined by guards Bryn Bezjak (Albert Gallatin), Nautica Burwell (Allderdice) and Adalynn Cherry (Altoona), and guard / forwards Samantha Maurer (Washington), Syler Bibbee (Chantilly, Virginia) and Sydney Snyder (Loudonville, Ohio ).
“Coach DeRubbo attended a number of our games (at Baldwin) and was very passionate about my skills,” said Dryburgh.
DeRubbo is eager to coach the former Highlander and has high hopes for her at W&J.
“Our staff just worked at camp with Meghan and several of her new teammates last week,” DeRubba said. “She fitted in perfectly and it was easy to see that she would be a good teammate. We are very excited about this freshman class as a whole and they will play a big part in the success of this group.
“We believe Meghan has the potential to be an important player for us early in her career. The onset will depend on how quickly she learns our system and adjusts to college play, but the expectations are high for her.
Dryburgh missed most of her second season with an ankle injury, which proved to be another challenge for her to overcome.
And she did.
Dryburgh scored 18 points and collected 20 rebounds to lead the Highlanders to a 46-43 victory at Penn-Trafford in a WPIAL Class 6A first round playoff game in his senior season.
DeRubbo, like Woodson, was impressed with Dryburgh’s athleticism and versatility.
“One of Meghan’s greatest strengths is her ability to play multiple positions,” said the presidents floor boss. “We see her being a player with great versatility who can score on many levels. She can shoot the 3 and can also show up with a strong post-match. It will create big confrontation problems for many teams.
“One of the things that caught my attention early on was his great vision on the ground and his ability to pass the ball. She was more present in high school, so her ability to pass will make her unique as a 3/4 type player in the varsity game.
After dating Seton LaSalle in freshman, Dryburgh transferred to Baldwin, where she became an impact player in her junior and senior seasons.
The Highlanders finished 13-11 and played in the PIAA second round in 2019-20, then went 9-8 with a 1-1 record in the WPIAL playoffs this season. Baldwin hadn’t won a WPIAL playoff game since 2015.
Dryburgh’s signing with W&J brought the number of basketball rookies to six this year at Baldwin.
Guard Lexi Bernotas, forward Kayla Radomsky and G / F Abby Marzina will remain teammates at Chatham, while guard Anna Lucarelli and Sydney Carr will continue their careers at West Liberty and Carlow, respectively.
Taylor Walker, another long distance player who has struggled throughout an injury-scarred career with the Highlanders, plans to study forensic psychology in West Virginia.