Robertson tabbed top volleyball player|Riverside star led team to a 22-3 record

Published 11:19 am Friday, December 10, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES,, Sports Writer
WILLIAMSTON — The stats are all there for Meredith Robertson. The Riverside middle hitter tallied 111 service points, was first on her team in blocks with 70, while her 101 kills ranked third on a Knights team that finished 22-3 and made it all the way to the NCHSAA 1-A East Regional round of the playoffs.
While all those gaudy numbers may stand as a reflection of Robertson’s stellar season, they don’t come close to portraying her impact on the team.
Those statistics don’t say how Robertson, the lone senior on the Knights, gathered her teammates together after its first loss of the year and told them that they need to step their game up. There is no point system that shows the importance of putting in a little extra effort to be friendly with the Jamesville girls in an attempt to make the merger of Jamesville and Williamston High School go a little smoother.
Robertson brought to the table was sports people refer to as “intangible qualities,” and those traits are a big part of what makes her so special. So when you mix the stats with the “intangible qualities,” there’s no question it adds up to Robertson being an easy choice for this year’s Washington Daily News Volleyball Player of the Year.
“I don’t know if we would have been where we were without her,” Riverside coach Herbie Rogers said. “The leadership that she has provided the team is something that’s invaluable. In any team setting, for the team to be successful somebody has to step up into the leadership role and it was her this year.”
The graduation of last year’s WDN co-players of the year Katie Paschal and Heather Jackson, who played for Rogers when the school was called Williamston, created a leadership void in a year that the program would desperately need a solid voice as the school headed into its first year as the newly-formed Riverside Knights. Being the lone senior on the team, Robertson knew she had to be the one to fill that void.
“We lost big players in Katie Paschal and Heather Jackson and with me being the only senior I knew I had to step up,” Robertson said. “But I was very surprised, and I think Coach Rogers was as well, that I had a great team to work with. … In the summer workouts we struggled a little bit, but the beginning of the season went very well until we faced Perquimans, one of our big competitors.”
Last season, Perquimans beat out Williamston for the Four Rivers Conference title, and this year the two teams were expected to be locked in a battle for the conference crown that would go right down to the end of the regular season.
The newly-formed Knights failed their first test of the season as they lost to the rival Pirates and for Robertson this was unacceptable.
“We took that loss, and after it I had a talk with my team and said ‘We are not going to go out on the court and win because of our talent. We have a lot of talent but no one is extraordinary on this team. We don’t have a lot of height. If we are going to win it’s because we work as a team. From now on we have to go out on the court and express how strong of a team we really are,’” Robertson said.
The team did just that as it only lost two more games the rest of the season. Riverside not only beat out Perquimans for the Four Rivers Conference championship, but it also topped the Pirates again when it swept them in the Sectional Round of the playoffs.
The Knights would move on to advance to the East Regional Round of the postseason, becoming only the second team to do so under Rogers’ guidance.