Robinson Volleyball Edges Southeast, Advances to Regional Semis
The Knights got past the Seminoles in the regional quarterfinal Tuesday.
Very much the Cinderella story of Class 5A, the Robinson volleyball team (18-10) knocked off Bradenton Southeast (7-21) Tuesday night in five games in regional quarterfinal action.
Not many people would have picked the Knights to win District 11 this season after an 11-14-1 campaign the year before.
However, the Knights, behind senior utility player Katie Hogan, made an improbable run past Blake and Lennard at districts and into regional action Tuesday night.
Despite its record, Southeast has a solid team, and it gave Robinson all it could handle, taking game one 28-26. The Knights fought off four game point situations and were tied at 25, only to slip up in the last seconds.
The Knights came out for game two and dominated. They went on a 12-4 run before Southeast coach Nancy Cothron called a timeout. Hogan notched another kill to make it 18-7, and the Knights finished strong, taking the game 25-11.
Southeast pressed back in game three and jumped out to a 4-1 lead early. Robinson junior outside hitter Alexandria Gaertner came back with three straight kill shots to help Robinson pull in front, 8-6. Gaertner and Hogan combined for several kills and defensive blocks in the game to eventually take it 25-21.
The Seminoles came back and took game four 25-22. Senior outside hitter Brittane Hunter led the way. Robinson survived five game point situations.
The fifth tiebreaker game went back and forth with never more than two points difference. Coming out of a Seminoles timeout, the Knights scored to go up 12-9. At that point the team, home crowd and coach Ryan Wheatley came alive.
"I mean, anything can happen in a game but at that point, yeah, we knew we had it," Wheatley said.
Hogan finished with nine kills, 14 digs and four aces, while Gaertner had 14 kills, four blocks and four aces.
The Knights went on to a 3-2 victory and will host a very good Lakewood team next (12-6) Tuesday in the regional semifinals.