Hodge a Semifinalist for AAU Sullivan Award
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State women's volleyball senior Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) has been selected as one of 14 semifinalists for the AAU Sullivan Award as the Top Amateur Athlete of 2009. Online voting begins today at USA Today <www.usatoday.com/sports/2009-sullivan-award.htm> .
This year's 14 semifinalists include Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram from the University of Alabama, three-time Olympic diver Troy Dumais and Amy Palmiero-Winters, a world record-setting amputee ultra-marathoner, among many others. Finalists will be announced by Friday, April 2 and the winner of the 80th annual Sullivan Award will be announced on April 14 in New York at the New York Athletic Club.
Known as the "Oscar" of sports awards, and older than The Heisman, the AAU Sullivan Award honors an outstanding amateur athlete in the U.S. The AAU has presented the award annually since 1930 as a salute to James E. Sullivan, the founder and past president of the Amateur Athletic Union. The Sullivan Award honors an individual not only for their athletic accomplishment, but is based upon the qualities of leadership, character, sportsmanship and the ideals of amateurism. Past winners include Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps among many others.
This is just the latest accolade for Hodge, who was also honored as the Honda Award Winner for volleyball and the Female Athlete of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus. The outside hitter led the Nittany Lions to an unprecedented third straight NCAA National Title in 2009, while on a record-breaking 102-match winning streak. Hodge averaged 4.67 kills per set during her senior season to lead the Big Ten and rank eighth in the nation. She became just the second Penn State volleyball player to amass 2,000 kills during her career and finished with 2,142.
Hodge, a four-time AVCA First Team All-American, was selected as the Big Ten Player of the Year in 2009 for the second time in her career after being chosen as a freshman in 2006. She was named the AVCA Division I National Player of the Year prior to the NCAA Championship and was the 2009 CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year, as well.
For more information on the 80th Annual Sullivan Awards, please visit www.AAUSullivan.org.