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Raider netters earn awards

Senior Holly LeBrun is shown with her Hudson Raider Award at the girl's tennis team's postseason banquet Sunday, Oct. 19, at Hudson Middle School. Photo courtesy of John Knutson

The Hudson High School girls varsity and JV tennis players, along with family members gathered for one last time in the Hudson Middle School Cafeteria for their annual Post Season Tennis Banquet Sunday, Oct. 29.

With almost 100 people at the event, JV head coach Julia Johnson, assistant varsity coach Kari Lewis, and varsity head coach John Knutson recapped the year and gave out awards.

"It was a great year for the girls' fall season," Knutson said. "To have three conference champions in No. 4 singles with Sophia Jonas, No. 3 doubles with Anni Lewis and Kate Johnson and then having the No. 1 doubles team of Taylor Owens and Anna Wilgren winning the BRC was good."

In total six players earned All-Big Rivers Conference Honors this season. Sophia Jonas, Holly LeBrun, Kate Johnson and Anni Lewis finished as Second Team All-BRC, while the top doubles team of Wilgren and Owens was first team all-conference.

"With Jonas at four singles winning the sectional title, as well as our one doubles team of Owens and Wilgren, that was even better," Knutson noted. "And then to cap it off, Owens and Wilgren were given the 15th seed in the WIAA state tournament and performed well there, winning their first two matches; bowing out in the round of 16 to the No. 2 Seeds from Holmstead."

With the 100 or so attendees gathered at the Hudson Middle School, the post season awards were given out.

Johnson and Lewis were acknowledged as the Highest Games, Sets and Match Winners on the season. Of the 365 games they played, they won 273 for a 75 percent game winning percentage. Of the 46 sets they played throughout the year, they won 42 sets and lost only four to win 91 percent of their sets. And finishing the season with an overall record of 21-2, the duo won 91 percent of their matches as well.

The players and coaches gave the Most Valuable Players Award to the No. 1 doubles team of Owens and Wilgren, who finished the year with a record of 25-3. The pair went undefeated at 6-0 through the BRC, notably defeating their rivals from Eau Claire Memorial three different times during the season. The duo then won the sectional title to earn the 15th seed at state where they reached the final 16.

The Hudson Raider Award was created by Knutson and is considered the highest award given to a player, as voted on by the players and coaches. This year's award was presented to senior Holly LeBrun.

"The Hudson Raider Award is presented to a special player who embodies what it means to be a Hudson Raider," Knutson said. "This player would always exhibit respect for the game, be a fierce competitor and a great sportsman and most of all, they would be the consummate teammate."

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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