MILLBURY, Mass. — The Millbury Girls’ Volleyball team enjoyed unprecedented success this season, winning the first CMass District title in school history and reaching the state semi-finals before finally bowing out to powerful Lynnfield. Reaching those heights took a total team effort but perhaps no one was bigger in helping the team reach such lofty goals as senior Shanna Hudgin.
Hudgin was one of Millbury’s most consistent and clutch performers this season, always at or near the top in every game with the most kills. Hudgin took time out from her busy school schedule to speak with the Daily Voice on Friday afternoon about the team, the season and just a little glimpse into herself.
"At the beginning of the season we were asked to set our goals for this season and going to state semi-finals was never in my head,” she said with a laugh. “We’re always told, ‘dream big, think big’, but the state semis was a place we’d never thought we be and then to go there was so great and such an awesome experience."
Speaking about the Lynnfield game, Hudgin said, “It wasn’t our greatest first set, but we were ready in the second set and we battled back with them and they saw it was not going to be that easy."
In the match, Lynnfield cruised to an easy first set victory, and was up big in the second before the Woolies rallied and took the win. It was Lynnfield’s first loss of a set since October. The pivotal third set was tied at 22 before Lynnfield rallied for the final three points for the win.
The fact that Millbury made it there was more than a bit of a surprise; the team dropped its last five regular season contests due to a slew of injuries to Hudgin and fellow senior Sarah MacAdam but quickly turned it on for the playoffs.
“Obviously it’s a team game and injuries to one or two players shouldn’t be that big a deal, but it is really hard when you lose your last five of the season and people think you aren’t going anywhere,” Hudgin said. “It was just nice to prove people wrong."
Beating big rival Sutton was a big step for the team.
"We have a nice rivalry with them, not in a nasty way, we’re close to them and it was great to be able to say we’re on the same level with them,” she said. Going to five sets against Whitinsville Christian wasn’t a big surprise either, “we did that every time we played them, it was a great game to be involved in, I was glad we were able to win.”
Hudgin has plenty of irons in the fire as far as colleges go, but hasn’t made a final choice yet, but rest assured, some college in New England will be getting a great volleyball player next fall.