ARCANUM – Arcanum senior Shai Robinson signed her national letter of intent to play college volleyball at Sinclair Community College in front of dozens of friends and family members Friday afternoon.
Robinson, the daughter of Scott and Shelley Robinson, said it’s always been her dream to play college ball. She visited Sinclair and liked what she saw.
“It’s more local and I just love the coach and the facility and I like the team already,” Robinson said.
This past fall Robinson was named first team all-Cross County Conference by the league and second team all-District 9 by the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association. She had 270 kills and 376 digs for the conference runner up Trojans.
Sinclair coach Kum Chee Gan, a former member of the Malaysian national team, said Robinson was one of the key players he targeted for the 2017 recruiting class.
“She’s has very good basics,” he said. “She’s very well rounded.”
Being so well rounded Gan envisions Robinson competing for playing time at multiple positions such as outside hitter, right-side hitter or defensive specialist.
“I am ready,” Robinson said of the competition. “I can’t wait.”
Robinson, who plans to study to become a physical therapy assistant, felt comfortable with the Sinclair volleyball program because she already knows some of her future teammates.
“I know a lot of the girls and some of the girls individually, like (Arcanum graduate) Michaela McGaffic,” she said. “I got to talk to her about it. She told me some advice and stuff. It was pretty cool.”
This past season Sinclair finished as the runner up in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference, finishing 26-8 overall and 12-2 in the conference.
The Tartans could be even better in 2017, Coach Gan said, and could contend for a spot at the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II national tournament.
“I think we’re going to be pretty good this year,” Robinson said. “I know a lot of the girls that are coming into the program and are really good. And (Coach Gan) said that he really thinks we’re going to be better than we were last year.”
Robinson is unsure of whether she’ll pursue playing at a four-year university after her time at Sinclair. But while she’s with the Tartans, Arcanum volleyball coach Macey O’Dell expects her to fit in perfectly thanks to her work ethic.
“She’s an extremely hard worker,” O’Dell said. “She was always one of my first into the gym and the last to leave. She puts time in. She’s an excellent volleyball player.”