“I always wanted to do what she was doing, but better,” Hutson said.
Standing at 6-foot-3-inches, Hutson’s sister is even taller, so she had some big shoes to fill if she was going to be better than her big sis.
As a freshman at Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, Tennessee, Hutson got to play alongside her senior sister, and the two won a state championship in 2010. Even after her sister graduated, Hutson and her high school team brought in two more state championship titles in 2011 and 2012.
It’s not just with her sister that Hutson is competitive. It’s always been a part of who she is, whether she meant it to be or not.
“In gym class, I always tried to be the Olympian,” she said
She’d go into gym with the mindset that she was going to be chill, but that never happened. Her competitive instincts always kicked in. It even stems back to her basketball days when she’d be throwing elbows and getting fouls called on her consistently. Now, she’s able to take all the aggression out on the volleyball as an outside hitter.
Her and junior teammate Krystal Rivers, both hitters, like to have a little competitive fun on the court during matches. They build off of each other’s kills. When one gets one, the other wants to reciprocate.
“It’s always great having that and knowing that she’s probably going to get a kill if she gets the set,” Rivers said.
It’s back-and-forth between the two each match with who leads the team in kills. Hutson played in every match last season as a freshman and finished with 475 kills, averaging 3.71 per set.
Coach Ed Allen said recruiting Hutson brought a hammer on the outside.
“She really has the chance to exploit poor blocks because of how alive her arm is,” he said. “She possesses a degree of athleticism that not many 6’3” girls have.”
Hutson has faced injuries this season, like much of the Alabama volleyball team, but is learning how to play around them.
Once she’s fully back, Allen hopes to see her be a leader, because she’ll take on an upperclassman role next year. She’s matured a lot over the past year and has done a good job learning how to play – and play well – under less than perfect circumstances.
“That’s what separates competitors, is their ability to make it work when they’re less than ideal,” Allen said. “Anybody can play healthy. It’s being able to figure out what you have to do when things aren’t working.”
When she’s not in her competitive mode, Hutson is normally goofing off.
Rivers said although Hutson has a serious side that makes her teammates want to look to her, she also knows when to have fun.
“When I think of her, I just think of a big personality – goofy, loose and just fun,” Rivers said.
The two spent a lot of time over the summer watching the TV show Pretty Little Liars.
Hutson’s personality is the same on and off the court.
The way she acts is infectious. She can get the team to rally behind her, whether it be in a fun or a serious manner.
“She can be the life of the party,” Allen said. “She’s kind of the Babe Ruth of volleyball.”
Hutson has the talent to prosper in volleyball, but she also has the personality to one day be a leader.
She’s just one to embrace every moment and make the best of it. She knows she only has four years in college – something Allen always reminds the team of, and it blows her mind that she’s almost halfway done.
“It’s just important to live day by day when you’re in college, because it’s going to end one day, and you can’t go back,” Hutson said.
So whether it’s a hard practice or a fun practice, she appreciates each one.
Her volleyball team is just as important to her as her real family, which already means so much to her.
Hutson loves being not too far from her home in Tennessee. It allows her parents to come to every home match – her grandpa even made the trip this season. Her parents bought a camper and reserved a spot at a nearby lake so they can come and watch their daughter.
Since she gets to see her family so often, she doesn’t have the opportunity to get homesick. She is very grateful for that.
Now, her team has become another family to her. Her parents, along with others, have gotten to know the rest of the team well. There’s always someone there at the end of a match for the girls to turn to.
“I think it speaks to the closeness of our team since it extends to our parents and family,” Rivers said.
Rivers likes to look for Hutson’s parents at matches because she knows, like their daughter, they’re normally doing something funny since they’re who Hutson gets her big personality from.
She knows she can go to her teammates with anything, and they’ll be there for her in a blink of an eye. As a homebody and family-oriented person to begin with, this means more than the world to her.
“I don’t know what I would do without the closeness of this volleyball family,” she said.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports