State Gazette Volleyball Defensive Player of the Year - Dyer County Lady Choctaw Lauren Hudson

Monday, June 17, 2024
Dyer County Lady Choctaw libero Lauren Hudson


With her volleyball season ending for the third straight year at the TSSAA Class AA State Tournament in Mufreesboro, Dyer County senior Lauren Hudson helped lead her team to the state tournament in her final high school season on the way to being named the State Gazette Volleyball Defensive Player of the Year.

This year’s honor marks the second straight season in which Hudson has been named the State Gazette’s Defensive Player of the Year for her sport. It also marks the second season in a row that the Dyer County senior was named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association All-State Team in Class AA.

Hudson ends her career as a four-year starter and was part of Dyer County’s first three teams to reach the state tournament in volleyball.

Dyer County Head Coach Shanna O’Bright shared her thoughts on what Hudson meant to her team during the Lady Choctaw’s senior year.

“Not only is Lauren so smart at reading the other team’s offense, she has a knack for putting herself in a position to be successful all the time,” O’Bright explained about Hudson’s game. “And, she has done so for four years.

“As a senior, she really stepped up into a leadership role. She was dominant in her role as libero or defensive specialist. She could have easily done either one.”

Add in her ability to serve on a consistent level – including 72 aces during her senior season – and O’Bright is quick to point out Hudson is leaving some big shoes to fill.

“I said this last year and I will say it this year, everybody sees the offense and the big hits,” the Dyer County head coach explained. “But, the offense doesn’t work if you don’t have someone in the back row putting the ball where it needs to go.”

In accumulating 639 digs this past season, there have been several times when Hudson’s play kept the other team from scoring.

“There is no telling (how many times that saved us),” O’Bright said. “She is the best at what she does. She is really going to be missed.”

As a senior, Hudson improved as a leader during the course of her final year as a Lady Choctaw.

“We had a fairly young team because we had such a fairly large group of freshmen this year,” O’Bright recalled. “Her just stepping in and helping those younger kids understand the level of play we play here at Dyer County. She really stepped up in that role.”

For the past four years, O’Bright and the Lady Choctaws have had Hudson to depend on in the back row as she started from the get-go in high school.

“She has been a huge part of the program – the heart of our defense for sure for four years running,” O’Bright said of what Hudson has meant to the Lady Choctaws during her four years as a high school player. “It gives me chill bumps just thinking about everything she did for us during the four years that she was here.

“Her pass starts the success of our offense. Not only did she do that, but she saved us in so many defensive situations because she is so good at reading hitters. I don’t know what else to say about her. What she brought to the team is immeasurable.”

O’Bright added Hudson is a very talented person.

“She is such a great person,” the Dyer County head coach said. “She’s going to go on and do many big things in her life.”

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: