For the second time this season, Robinson High School's volleyball team shook off a slow start against an improving Lawrenceville team and rallied for a win.
After outlasting the Lady Indians for a three-set win in their Little Illini Conference match Oct. 8 (26-28, 25-21, 25-11), the Lady Maroons repeated that same formula, although the scores were a little tighter and the stakes were a little higher.
Robinson, the seventh-seed in the 12-team Sub-Sectional, came from behind to beat 12th-seeded Lawrenceville in their first round match at the IHSA Class 2A Robinson Regional Monday (Oct. 28), 17-25, 25-22, 25-20.
"Survive and advance," RHS head coach Eric Dean said. "We talked about that before the game and that is exactly what we did. We didn't play well in a lot of areas, but I have to give Lawrenceville some credit for that. The first set they didn't make mistakes and we did. We got up on them in both the second and third, but could not pull away. It was a fight all night."
The Lady Maroons could not have started any slower, as they dug themselves a 10-1 hole at the outset of the match. Robinson trailed by as many as 11 on a couple of occasions, with the last being 18-7, as Lawrenceville cruised to the first-set win.
The second set was back-and-forth, but the Lady Maroons appeared to take control late with a 21-16 lead, only for Lawrenceville to score four straight to pull within 21-20. The teams would then trade points to make the score 23-22, but Robinson was able to score the next two points to take the set and even the match.
In the third set, Robinson jumped out to a 2-0 lead and built a 6-2 edge before Lawrenceville scored seven straight points to take a 9-6 lead. A strong service run by Emma Bailey gave Robinson a 10-9 lead, but Lawrenceville scored the next three points to take a 12-10 lead. Robinson answered with four straight points behind a solid run by Bailey Strauch to take a 14-12 lead, only for Lawrenceville to put together a 7-3 run to take a 19-17 lead. Two missed serves by Lawrenceville helped RHS to pull to within 20-19, then an ace by Bailey tied the score at 20-20. That started a six-point run that gave the Lady Maroons the third set and the match.
Bailey led RHS with 13 points, including three aces, 21 assists and 11 digs, while Bri Robb posted 10 points with two aces, 11 digs and one assist. Katrina Ramsey totaled six points with two aces, six digs and four kills, Strauch contributed six points and five digs, Kori Calvert netted two points with one ace, three digs and two kills, Maddison Fisher collected seven kills and two digs and Addy Paddock recorded 23 digs.
"We had a nice night statistically from Emma," Dean said. "She earned her first ever triple double. Addy came up big and had a career high in digs."
In Monday's other match, eighth-seeded Marshall beat ninth-seeded Flora in two sets, 25-18, 25-22.