deJongh Welcomes National Volleyball Star
and Native Virgin Islander Back to St. Thomas
Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. said Monday he is proud to welcome home Megan Hodge, one of the nation's premier college athletes and a native Virgin Islander who just competed in an international tournament with the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team.
Hodge is regarded as one of the best volleyball players in the world—a star outside hitter at Penn State University who throughout college was recognized as an academic standout and exceptional scholar. She arrives Tuesday night on St. Thomas for a week vacation with her family. “The 21-year-old phenom was born on St. Thomas and comes from a rich volleyball tradition in the territory. Her parents, Michael and Carmen, both played for the U.S. Virgin Islands National Volleyball Team, as did several other relatives. Hodge's family moved to North Carolina when she was three years old, but she has always kept close ties to her relatives in the Virgin Islands,” de Jongh said.
Last week, Hodge competed in Mexico with the U.S. Women's National Team at the Pan American Cup. She is coming to St. Thomas to enjoy some well-deserved rest. Hodge's accolades and awards in high school and college are too numerous to list in their entirety. She was the star player on one of the best college volleyball teams in recent history, and earlier this year was named the 2010 Penn State Female Athlete of the Year. She was also chosen as the co-winner of the prestigious Honda-Broderick Cup, an award that goes to the top collegiate female athlete in the country.
As a senior, Hodge guided the Penn State Nittany Lions to a third straight NCAA title, and her college career ended on a 102 match-winning streak, with an amazing overall record at Penn State of 142-5. Four times, she was a first-team All-American, twice the Big Ten Player of the Year. In 2009, Megan Hodge was named American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I National Player of the Year, and the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-American of the Year for volleyball.
At Penn State, Megan Hodge excelled on and off the court. She has been honored as an ESPN Magazine first team Academic All-American in 2009, and second team in 2008. She was also named Academic All-American of the Year for her sport in 2009, and is a three-time Academic All Big Ten honoree.
Her studies at Penn State culminated in May with a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management. After graduation, Hodge went to play for the U.S. National Volleyball Team and won silver at the 26th annual Montreux Volley Masters in Switzerland earlier this month. “While she left the Territory when she was young, Megan Hodge still proudly represents the Virgin Islands as she travels the world as a member of the United States Women's National Volleyball Team. Her dedication to her sport, and her studies, is inspirational, and serves as a bright example of what all our Territory's athletes and scholars can achieve when they dedicate themselves to hard work,” de Jongh said.
“I'm pleased to welcome Megan back to St. Thomas on behalf of all Virgin Islanders, and I invite her to enjoy all that her native island has to offer while she's here,” the governor added.
The Office of the Governor and the Departments of Tourism and Housing, Parks and Recreation are hosting a welcome home ceremony and reception for Megan Hodge’s arrival on American Airlines Flight 795 from Miami Tuesday night.