Pronounced: Melissa WALL-bridge
2006 (Junior): Honorable Mention All-Big Ten ... ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District ... Academic All-Big Ten ... started all 35 matches of the year and played in all 114 games ... averaged 1.66 kills per game on .405 hitting for the season to lead the team and the Big Ten and rank eighth on the single-season hitting percentage chart ... led the team in total blocks with 179 and ranked second in blocks per game with an average of 1.57, good for 11th on the all-time single-season record list ... ranked third in the conference and 15th in the nation in blocks per game ... recorded at least one kill in 34 of 35 matches, posting a season-high 14 kills on .500 hitting (14-2-24) at Minnesota (10/28) ... posted eight kills on an errorless 10 swings to hit .800 versus Michigan State (10/21) ... had at least five kills in 21 matches of the year ... averaged 2.67 kills per game on .577 hitting in sweeps of Purdue and Indiana (11/3-4) ... hit for better than .400 on 21 occasions, including posting seven kills on an errorless 12 swings (.583) in the NCAA Regional Final loss at Washington (12/9) ... also recorded 11 service aces and 42 digs for the season ... had 34 multiple-block matches, including setting a new career high with 12 stuffs in the thrilling five-game win at Texas (9/8) ... tallied three or more blocks on 32 occasions and five or more blocks 19 times.
2005 (Sophomore): AVCA Second Team All-America ... AVCA First Team All-Mideast Region ... First Team All-Big Ten ... State College NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team ... ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District ... Academic All-Big Ten ... started all 34 matches of the year ... led the team and the Big Ten and ranked sixth in the nation in hitting percentage (.413), also good for seventh on the single-season record chart ... ranked second on the team in blocks per game with 1.48, good for 13th on the single-season record list ... in conference-only matches, averaged 2.65 kills per game while hitting .449, more than 50 percentage points higher than the next competitor ... also posted a league-leading 1.63 blocks per game in Big Ten-only contests ... averaged 2.83 blocks per game in the wins over Ohio State and Indiana (11/2, 11/4) ... recorded more total blocks (12) than Binghamton and Long Island combined (11) during the first weekend of NCAA play ... ranked fourth on the team in kills per game with 2.64 ... recorded five or more kills 29 times, including 12 double-digit kill contests ... against Pacific (9/9), connected on 12 of 14 attempts to hit .857, marking the first time since 2003 that a Penn State player had hit above .800 with more than 12 kills ... recorded at least one block in every match of the season, including 26 matches of three or more blocks and 14 matches of five or more blocks ... led the team with 29 service aces ... posted a career-high seven digs twice, recording at least one dig in 33 matches.
2004 (Freshman): NCAA Seattle Regional All-Tournament team ... played in 26 matches and 70 games including 17 Big Ten contests and all three NCAA Tournament matches ... averaged 2.29 kills per game and 1.24 blocks per game ... led the Big Ten in hitting percentage with .407 ... ended the year hitting a team-best .418 ... recorded an average of 1.50 blocks per game in conference-only matches to lead the league ... twice posted 10 blocks in a match, including versus then-No. 1 Minnesota (10/2) and at Michigan State (11/26) ... tallied a career-high 15 kills in the three-game win over Maryland in the first round of the NCAA Tournament (12/4) while attacking at a .636 clip (15-1-22) ... tied career high with 15 kills in the four-game loss to UCLA in the NCAA Seattle Regional (12/10) ... attacked at a .300 clip or better in 17 contests including a career-high .714 (10-0-14) against Maryland-Baltimore County (9/7), also the highest individual attack percentage on the squad for the season ... posted at least one block in 22 matches including 14 of the last 15 ... recorded 18 multiple-block matches including 13 of the last 15 matches.
Four-time volleyball letterwinner at Pennsbury High School in Fairless Hills, Pa. ... team captain during senior season for the Falcons ... compiled a record of 82-12 during scholastic tenure ... member of the Suburban One League championship team in 2000, 2002 and 2003 ... team won the district championship in 2003 and was a AAA Pennsylvania state finalist in 2003 for the first time in school history ... named the Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year and a Prepvolleyball.com All-American in 2003 ... tabbed as a first team All-State selection in 2002 and 2003 ... 2003 Philadelphia Inquirer Player of the Year ... two-time Courier Times Player of the Year ... named a Volleyball Magazine "Fab 50" selection in 2003 ... two-time District One first team selection, Courier Times Golden Team first team and Suburban One League First team ... National Honor Society member ... member of the high honor roll all four years of high school ... named one of Pennsbury High School's "Best and Brightest" by the Trentonian ... received the National Scholar Athlete Award from the U.S. Army Reserve.
Born Melissa Morgan Walbridge on April 12, 1986, in San Francisco ... parents are Bennett and Kathleen Walbridge, who now live in San Francisco ... has two brothers, Kyle (34) and Evan (17) ... majoring in integrative arts and minoring in psychology ... names Ben Harper and Michael Franti as favorite musical acts, San Francisco Giants as favorite pro sports team, Gabrielle Reece as favorite athlete, banana pancakes as favorite food, "As I Lay Dying" as favorite book, "Entourage" as favorite television show, "Almost Famous" and "Big Fish" as favorite movies, Billy Crudup as favorite actor and Kate Hudson as favorite actress ... nickname is Mel.
Quoting Russ Rose
"Melissa has quietly put up great numbers through her first three seasons. She was an All-American during her sophomore season and last year everything about her game should have again garnered her recognition as well. She is a player who, most importantly, plays well in her position, which in turn allows us to play well around her. She's not our most dominant offensive player but she is a great blocker, a terrific teammate and if opponents leave her alone, she'll score."
"To win a national championship."