Lockport takes down Joliet WestLockport's #7 Anna Bryniarski returns a serve against Joliet West and Lockport won at home on Thursday, October 20, 2011. | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 20, 2011 9:12PM
Just as she had hundreds of times before, Lockport coach Julia Hudson and her team left the court as winners.
The Porters made sure Hudson’s final regular season match was a good one as they defeated Joliet West 25-18, 25-16 in a SouthWest Suburban Blue matchup Thursday evening at Lockport Central.
Aubrey Ficek led the attack with nine kills and eight digs as Lockport improved to 24-11 and 4-3 in the league. The junior outside hitter is very proud to be a part of this Porter team.
“I love it, the tradition just keeps going on,” Ficek said. “It’s an honor to be here. I love my team and I love my coach.”
There was much love for Hudson, who is retiring after 33 years at Lockport - all but the first as head coach, before the senior night match. After all the players and parents were honored, Hudson was presented with a dozen roses, a framed picture and a book of memories made especially for her by current and past people involved with the program.
While trying to hold back her “faucet” of emotion, Hudson thanked everyone from the transportation department to the administration, faculty, players and coaches - especially her two long time assistants Chris Lareau and Wendy Squires. But she also thanked West coach Al Mart, who agreed to move the match to Lockport for a final regular season home event for Hudson and the Porters.
“For everything she’s given to the game, and her being a friend, that’s the least I could do,” Mart said. “I’ll miss coming here and competing against her teams.”
With game one tied at 3-3, Lockport went on a 9-2 run to take control. The Tigers (8-20-1, 2-5) got within 18-15, but couldn’t get closer. In game two, the Porters jumped out to an 8-1 lead and West never got closer than four points the rest of the way.
Lockport’s senior starters contributed. Anna Bryniarski had four kills and six digs, Alyssa Visvardis had four digs and Christina Wilson added 17 assists. West was led by Courtney Robinson with six kills and 10 digs, Elexis Coleman had five kills, Katie Brick passed out 17 assists and Taylor Hallow had 14 digs.
“This is not my final home match,” said Hudson, whose team will host a regional. “It would be very finalistic if was. There’s a lot of tradition here. Our former setter, Meg Ward, came back here tonight and was happy that all of the traditions teams like hers helped start were being upheld. That’s a part of the memories.”