Stony Brook's Melissa Rigo quickly adjusted to the fast-paced world of college volleyball this season – quickly enough, in fact, that she was able to make contributions right away.
Rigo, a swing hitter, averaged better than 4.5 kills per game, had 20 or more kills in nine contests this year, and finished the season with 443 kills. She hit a career-high of 31 kills against Binghamton in November, the first Seawolves player in five years to top 30 kills in a match.
"It was definitely different compared to what I’ve been used to" at the high school and club volleyball levels, she said. "It has a faster pace, a lot more stress on the body physically and mentally."
For those contributions, Rigo was named Rookie of the Week seven times this season – and was finally named the America East conference's Rookie of the Year.
Rigo is a former four-year varsity player on the John Glenn High School volleyball squad that at that time won 11 straight Class B Long Island championships and won a Class B state title when she was a senior. She even traveled to Glens Falls last weekend to watch her old team do the same.
In an interview Tuesday, Rigo, a 5-11 freshman majoring in computer science, said the Rookie of the Year honor is a sign that her hard work meant something to the team. "I did everything I possibly could to help my team make it through the season," she said.