If an outsider were to enter the Knight Sports Complex during volleyball practice, they would notice one girl who stands out from the rest. Dancing, laughing, and moving a mile a minute, Jill Robinson leads her teammates through their stretches.
During the 2006 season, few will see the same Robinson on the court, but they will witness the determined, hardworking, and powerful athlete that leads the women’s volleyball squad at the University of Miami.
Robinson, a senior, will play setter one last season for the ‘Canes before graduating in Spring 2006.
Standing at 5 foot 8 inches, Robinson’s athletic and strong body allows her to set up a winning game, which has contributed to her successful career.
Robinson had a successful freshman season. Playing in 97 games with a total of 18 starts, Robinson was named Big East Rookie of the Year four times, leading the conference in total number of honors.
The high quality play continued into her sophomore year when she played in 25 of 26 matches and was named starting setter. Robinson also broke the UM record for number of career assists with 2,208 after only two seasons.
Robinson continued to play with that same confidence and determination in her junior year and built her number of assists to 3,715 her third season. One highlight from last season included a stretch of four games in which she had more than 60 assists per game. Robinson also led the team to a huge win that upset North Carolina, the top team in the Atlantic Coast Conference at the time. Adding to her achievements, she was named the Hurricane Invitational Most Valuable Player at the end of the year.
“I cannot take full credit for my success over the years because it takes the team to win games,” Robinson said. “I make a lot of the assists but it requires an entire team to make the kills, digs, and blocks.”
Robinson’s philosophy is to stay focused and not get overwhelmed.
“Don’t look too far ahead and take each game at a time,” she said. “The season is too long.”
Head Coach Nicole Lantagne-Welch is not surprised at all Robinson’s success.
“Each year Jill continued to grow as a player and she continued to work hard,” Lantagne-Welch. “I expect her to lead the team to an incredible season.”
A native of Merced, California, Robinson played volleyball competitively since eighth grade. She had been a soccer player until her junior year of high school, but became committed to volleyball after being inspired by her older sister Jacque Robinson, who is also collegiate player.
Robinson credits much of her athletic abilities to both of her parents. Her father, Jerry Robinson, was a distinguished linebacker for UCLA, while her mother was a dance major in college.
“[My family] is a great help,” Robinson said. “I talk to all of them every night and they offer me support and insight. My Dad gives great advice.”
Jill will graduate with a degree in Sports Administration. Robinson plans to work in sports marketing for either a collegiate or professional football team.
Patrick McIlveen may be contacted at email@example.com.