Excelling on a court with no boundaries
Senior Spotlight: Caitlyn Elizabeth Hudson
Persevering, she became one of SAGU's best ever
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Caitlyn Hudson arrived at Southwestern Assemblies of God University four years ago with a heart for the things of God. She was also driven by athletics.
Hudson graduates this week and those descriptions remain unmistakable.
She overcame a broken foot as a sophomore and endured a serious injury in the fall, yet played through the pain.
At 5’10, she was a four year starter for a Lady Lions volleyball team that enjoyed a winning record during each regular season.
She finished her career as one of the best players in SAGU history, ranking in the Top 5 in three major categories; kills (1,218), digs (1,359) service aces (154).
Hudson managed to somehow produce a career-high in kills this year despite playing with an aching shoulder.
Keith Meister, the Texas Rangers Head Team Physician, said it was the worst he has ever seen, stating it should have been a career-ender.
“She has the shoulder of a 35-year old pitcher. I have no idea how she could have played. It was a 100% tear of the rotator cuff and a partial tear of her right labrum.”
Still, she whacked 408 kills, placing fourth in the Red River Athletic Conference, well above her previous best of 290 as a junior.
Hudson was second on the team to Jessica Sodich (Arlington, Tx / Ovilla Christian), whose 530 led the RRAC.
Hudson reached double-figures in 25 of 35 matches, second to Sodich (30). Validating a breakout season in which she was the RRAC Player of the Week once, she entered her final campaign having made double-digits 27 times in three years.
As a Sports Management major, she looks to begin coaching high school or club volleyball.
She credits the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as a model for teamwork and outreach and credits Scott Vaughan as her mentor.
Vaughan was the men’s basketball coach at SAGU when the Lions joined the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
He is presently the Athletic Director at DeSoto’s Canterbury School, where several former SAGU athletes now teach and coach. Hudson interned there this year.
She grew up with a strong Christian heritage that was founded in the Assemblies of God.
Name: Caitlyn Elizabeth Hudson
Parents: Bobby and Christina Hudson
Siblings Names (age): Christopher Hudson (26)
High School: Mansfield Legacy H.S.
Favorite Passage: Isaiah 61
Favorite Movie: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Favorite Restaurant in Waxahachie: Olive Garden
Major at SAGU: Sports Management
Career Direction: Coaching volleyball
Your Immediate Plans: Hopefully after graduation I’ll land at a local high school in an athletic position. Not sure if I’ll start off coaching right away but I’d like to work my way in that direction.
Q1) What were your reasons for choosing SAGU?
Caitlyn Hudson: FIRST, it was a Christian environment! Second, it was close to home. I know this is a typical answer, but God really did lead me here to SAGU. Everywhere else I looked didn’t feel right or the door simply shut.
Q2) Who were your favorite professors and why?
K8lyn: Sally Ford was my favorite professor. She pushes you in a positive way to think on a higher level. She expects nothing but your best at all times.
Q3) How would you summarize your athletic accomplishments at SAGU?
K8lyn: Looking back it’s crazy to see what I’ve accomplished athletically the past four years. Winning 86 matches was a great joy. To be third in SAGU history to get over 1,000 kills is pretty amazing.
Q4) What did you enjoy most about the SAGU experience?
K8lyn: Just being able to play collegiate volleyball and further my education was such a blessing. Also sharing that with my family and friends was more than I could ask for.
Q5) What did you most enjoy about chapel or a favorite chapel speaker?
K8lyn: I go into chapel with an open heart and mind. There have been so many amazing speakers over the past four years, not to mention lessons I’ve learned. Taking notes on the important stuff helped.
Q6) What was the most pleasant surprise you experienced at SAGU?
K8lyn: The most pleasant surprise that I can think of at SAGU was having a professor hand us a take home test or changing the syllabus in our favor!
Q7) What was your favorite memory of playing at SAGU?
K8lyn: Going to nationals in Florida for the first time my freshmen year.
Q8) What did you most appreciate from the athletic leadership on your team?
K8lyn: I really admired the leadership in my freshmen year. Kelani (Daniels) and Rachel (Brown) were great examples of strong, Godly women.
Q9) Did you ever participate in any ministry or service projects with your team?
K8lyn: Our team did not have ministry or service projects, but I found great joy in participating in our FCA chapter on campus. The Weekend of Champions event was so much fun. I was able to serve as a huddle leader.
Q10) Your biggest win or best game or best play – when, against who, what happened?
K8lyn: Our biggest win was at home against Wiley College in my sophomore year!!
Q11) Describe the competition you faced in the NAIA?
K8lyn: The competition was always good. We played many good teams. We worked hard to play as a unit and were prepared to play.
Q12) What aspect of the game will you miss the most?
K8lyn: Generally just being a part of a team. As silly as this might sound but I will miss all the long silly bus rides to games.
Q13) What would you have liked to have received or accomplished while wearing the purple and gold?
K8lyn: Personally, I feel like I accomplished more than what I set out for.
Q14) Any post-college plans to utilize your athletic career towards?
K8lyn: Volleyball will always be a passion of mine and I hope that God uses that in my future.
Q15) How would like to be remembered as a player?
K8lyn: I would like to be remembered as someone who gave it their all during practice and in a game; a strong competitor and someone who put her team first.
Hudson finishes her time at SAGU as a student-athlete who represented herself, her faith, and her school with great zeal on the court, in the classroom and in her personal life.