V.I. Native Megan Hodge Named Top U.S. Female Volleyball Player of Year

Virgin Islands native Megan Hodge, the daughter of St. Johnian Carmen Samuel and St. Thomian Mike Hodge, was named the 2005-06 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year earlier this month.

Hodge, a 6-foot-3-inch senior at Riverside High School in Durham, N.C., topped more than 385,000 female volleyball players across the country. She was also a four-time Pac 6 All-Conference pick, a two-time conference player of the year and the Gatorade North Carolina player of the year following both her junior and senior seasons.p> Hodge, whose father has been her assistant coach for the past two-and-a-half-years, said she decided to play volleyball out of the blue.p> Started Playing “Randomly”
“I started playing randomly in the seventh grade,” she said. “I didn’t really have an inspiration for playing. I just decided to tryout one day.”p> It’s a good thing that she did tryout, both for her North Carolina high school and for the sport of volleyball.p> Hodge is now in the running for the distinguished Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year, which will be announced this summer.p> “I was very surprised to get the Gatorade national player of the year award,” she said. “It’s a great honor, and I’m so glad to be put in a category with today’s best athletes.”p> The impressive athlete, and future Olympian-hopeful, has accepted a scholarship to Penn State, which she will attend in the fall.p> Heading to Penn State
“I decided to go to Penn State because I felt the most comfortable there,” said Hodge. “I had a lot of fun on my visit and the girls there were great. I compared all of my other visits to Penn State.”p> “The campus, coaches and gym were also some helpful deciding factors,” she continued. p> Hodge hopes to win a NCAA title during her college years.p> “I want to win a title at Penn State,” she said. “After college, I would like to play professionally overseas. Eventually, I’d like to compete in the Olympics—that is definitely my ultimate goal.”p> Parental Support
In addition to her innate ability, Hodge said that her parents have been a factor in her athletic success.p> “Support from my parents has helped me through a lot,” she said. “I got my work ethic, values and general respect for people from my parents. They raised me right and have always told me to do the right thing.”p> “They helped me realize how hard it is to be good, and how much harder it is to be great,” Hodge continued. “They always believed in me in anything I did and continue to do so.”p> Look out for more great accomplishments in the future from this native Virgin Islander.