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Robinson signs on with Seawolves
Ripon High senior Ashley Robinson signs her National Letter of Intent to join the volleyball program at Sonoma State University Wednesday in Ripon. - photo by JAGADA CHAMBERS/ The Bulletin

RIPON – The Sonoma State Seawolves have put together a solid program during the eight-year run of head coach Bear Grassl, but the program got even better after the National Letter of Intent’s initial signing period’s  inking of Ripon High standout Ashley Robinson

Robinson sealed the deal on her commitment to Sonoma State University during a gathering at her parent’s Ripon home when the graduating senior signed and faxed her letter of intent to Grassl, making the decision official.

“We have two senior middles, a senior setter and a senior right side player,” Sonoma head coach Grassl said. “So I am expecting Ashley to compete vigorously for one of the two middle jobs.

“We have great expectations that she will be able to fulfill one of them.”

Robinson laid the foundation for her four-year college education by becoming one of the leading forces in a competitive Trans Valley League volleyball scene. Consistent production for the Indians over her four-year career has put the powerful net-presence in prime position to assist a university with NCAA postseason aspirations.

“I definitely want to come in and make instant contributions,” Robinson said. “Bear had said that I would probably be starting as a freshman, so it is really exciting for me. I have never sat the bench and I want to definitely go there and make some changes.”

Robinson sat at her dining table and reaped the rewards of a long road of hard work. Athletes compete year-in and year-out, yet only a chosen few are able to demand the attention of a college coaching staff and build it into a scholarship to become a student-athlete.

Now Robinson will join the Seawolves squad, introducing her to the next stage of childhood dreams and a new group of ladies chasing many of the same goals.

“I feel like we’ve done an excellent job taking care of the kids in our program,” Grassl said. “We have a tremendous graduation rate and we’ve managed to grow from being one of the little guys to one of the big guys.

“That really is a testament to the hard work of all of our players.”

Robinson will undoubtedly have an opportunity to make Sonama State a better team on the court and obviously help guide the Ripon High star on to a bigger and brighter level of play. The success that Robinson signed into Wednesday is the fruition of year’s worth of work during her time as an Indian. Players who want to continue being a student-athlete at the highest levels have no choice but to seize the moment early on.

“You definitely want to work hard and keep up your attitude,” Robinson said. “Take everything in and don’t quit.

“Always keep trying and even when you mess things up, don’t quit.”