TAMPA — Steadily and assuredly, Robinson's volleyball team has increased the variety of its attack through the season.
On Wednesday night in a Class 6A region semifinal, Sebring suffered the results of the Knights' season-long development, suffering the loss in a match that never really felt in doubt.
Final score in the Robinson victory: 25-17, 25-15, 29-27.
"We've been working a lot on spreading the ball around to different hitters," said Robinson coach Ashley Johnson, who took over the Knights this year just five days before the season started. "We also wanted to speed things up. I think we did a good job of that tonight."
The Knights' setters, senior Elly Frierson and junior Lauren Johnson, seemed to be in a groove from the start, setting the Knights' leading hitters, freshman Mila Yarich and junior Kristin Werdine, as well as Jada Flanagan, Christina Rolack and Meg Courtney.
Many times, Flanagan, Rolack and Courtney smacked down quick kills from quick sets near the middle of the net, a tactic that often seemed to often catch Sebring (26-4) by surprise.
"It was so great to see us utilizing all of our hitters," Johnson said.
Only toward the end of the third set with the score tied at 25 did Robinson (24-7) seemed remotely pressed. That's when Johnson called a timeout and told her team, "I don't care if this thing goes to 38-36, we are going to keep fighting and when it ends we'll be the ones who have 38."
The Knights responded with a great deal of energy, ultimately sealing the victory a few minutes later.
Robinson will host the region final Tuesday against Tarpon Springs.