Lady Knights fight, fall in state semis against Bishop Moore


Photo Isabel Hanewicz

The team celebrates after scoring a point in the second set.

Isabel Hanewicz, RHStoday Editor-in-Chief

Saturday’s 6A volleyball state semifinal between Robinson (20-10-1) and Bishop Moore (26-1) was not quite the dominating win a 3-0 shut out by Bishop Moore would usually dictate. Neither was it quite the underdog story the Knights had hoped for.

A rematch of last year’s state semifinal game which the Hornets won 3-0, the game eludes such clear definition. Robinson’s 25-5, 25-22, 25-5 loss tells the story of two very different Robinson teams, at least in style of play.

The first and the third set were riddled with errors, nerves and missed plays for the Knights, who fell behind the Hornets early and never gained momentum. They weren’t projected to win, and it showed.

Emily Draper ('17) embraces #11 Kristin Werdine ('19) during the second set.
Photo Isabel Hanewicz
Emily Draper (’17) embraces #11 Kristin Werdine (’19) during the second set.

Yet the second set, the Knights played like a different team. They grabbed the lead early and held onto it, sometimes with a margin as wide as six points, until the Hornets tied the game at 22. They didn’t win the set, but they challenged.

“That’s the team that we are. We didn’t show up the first set, we weren’t doing the little things that we talked about when we watched film,” head coach Stephanie Turner said after the game, a tear on her left cheek. “But the second set they forgot about it, they moved on, they put up their fight like we talked about…That’s the way that we play.”

And play they did in that set, with Kristin Werdine (’19), captain McKenna Tyson (’17) and Elly Frierson (’18) recording key kills and libero Emily Draper (’17) with key digs in what Turner called a “phenomenal” defense by the Knights.

“The second set we were all fired up and we did it, we turned it around,” Draper, a captain and four-year varsity player, said. “I think it was the best we’ve played all season..they’re a really good team, and we just fell short, but it was a great last game.”

Final Goodbyes of the 2016 Season

For the Knights’ six seniors- Draper, Tyson, captain Laura Hill, Maggie McKee, Emma Duffey and Samantha Verdisco- the second consecutive loss to Bishop Moore was one of many consecutives in the past four years.

As freshmen they were a part of the team that reached the state final four for the first time since 1978. As seniors, Turner says they’ve helped turn the team into the type of program that competes with every team, the kind of play they showed in that second set.

Their legacy will be in the foundation they laid for success.

In the four consecutive district and region titles.

In the four consecutive state semifinal appearances.

And in the second set.