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Don’t be fooled by Robinson’s lighter schedule

The Knights may not have as many reps as other top teams, but appear solid in dispatching Land O’ Lakes for the district title.
Robinson junior Meg Courtney, center, celebrates after sealing up a 25-16, 21-25, 25-15, 25-17 victory over Land O' Lakes in the Class 5A, District 6 title match. [SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times]
Published Oct. 19

TAMPA — The season may be heading into the region playoffs, but Robinson’s volleyball team is still a bit of a relative unknown.

That’s partly because the Knights have played only 15 matches, or about half the amount of many other teams, including, for instance, their opponent in Friday night’s Class 5A, District 6 final. Land O’ Lakes has played 28 matches.

Robinson, however, looked pretty darned formidable on Friday. Final score: Robinson 25-16, 21-25, 25-15, 25-17.

“I think tonight we really showed some things about ourselves,” Robinson junior captain Mila Yarich said. “We’re still adjusting but we played well together. Tonight was encouraging.”

Robinson, which has practiced extra hard after not playing in any tournaments this season, appeared calm, cool and collected throughout the match on Friday, including after Land O’ Lakes (15-13) won the second set 25-21.

Robinson junior junior Mila Yarich fired down several key kills against Land O' Lakes. [SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times]

"We prepared for Land O’ Lakes all week and we knew what we needed to do,” first-year Robinson coach Kylee Gorngpratum said. “We felt prepared for them.”

In the fourth and fifth sets, Robinson (11-4) took almost complete control, led by its lone senior, libero Emily Kemp, and Yarich, one of the state’s top juniors, who plays well in any position.

“I think if we play well we can make a nice run in playoffs,” Gorngpratum said.

Yarich added, “I think we can definitely surprise some people."

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