As the only senior on the Lady Viking volleyball team, Hudson wants to give it her best

Mark Martin
Special to Jackson Newspapers

In her final season on the court, Brianna Hudson wants to give it everything she has.

And it starts with being a leader.

Hudson is the lone senior on this year’s Ripley Lady Viking volleyball team, guided by Brenda Moore.

Hudson can hardly believe she’s involved in her last year of the sport.

“I started playing volleyball when I was in fifth grade at the YMCA in Charleston just to have something to do between competitive cheer,” she said. “I tried out for the Ripley Middle School volleyball team my sixth-grade year and made it and I have played ever since.”

Ripley senior Brianna Hudson (10) returns a serve during recent Lady Viking volleyball action.

Delivering the ball to the opposition is something Hudson feels good about each time she takes the court.

“I have noticed along the years that I have always been a consistent server,” she said. “I also make sure that I motivate the team because I don’t want anyone to feel down.”

There are many aspects of the game she has enjoyed since stepping into action for the first time back in those YMCA days.

“I love how fast-paced volleyball is and how anything can happen,” she said. “You really get to know the girls you are playing with because you have to work together to help each other make a point.”

Ripley volleyball standout Brianna Hudson is pictured with her mother, Missy Painter, during Senior Night. Hudson is the lone senior on this year's Lady Viking squad.

A volleyball match can provide plenty of excitement. So after playing her junior year in mostly empty gymnasiums, she’s happy to see fans back once again.

“Since last year with COVID when the games had restrictions on who was allowed at the games, it’s been great to have fans cheer us along our journey this season.”

Head coach Brenda Moore can’t say enough about her lone senior.

“Brianna is a fun player to have on the team,” Moore said. “She’s not a real vocal player, especially to be the only senior, but the girls just love her and look up to her.

"She has a great sense of humor, stays upbeat and I’ve never seen her get down on herself or on teammates. She really knows how to shake off mistakes and stay focused in games. Her skills have improved tremendously in the past couple of years. She has a lot of energy, strength, hustle and is our lead hitter, and one of our top servers. She’s just a real pleasure to coach.”

Hudson says playing for Moore has helped her in a variety of ways.

“Coach Moore has been one of the biggest motivators I have ever had. Not only is she a gentle soul with a caring heart, she knows how to push me to my full potential. She always listens to the concerns of the players putting us first.”

Hudson will use those traits moving forward in life.

“I plan on attending a four-year college and majoring in elementary education.”

She knows her time facing and dealing with challenges as an athlete on the volleyball court will 'serve' her well at the next stage of life.