ROCK SPRINGS – Growing up as an avid sports fan, playing basketball and volleyball has always been a passion of Jayden Robison.
However, Robison knew if she was going to play at the college level, she would have to choose between the two. Fortunately for her, Robison’s decision wasn’t a hard one to make. By the time she reached the ninth grade, her love for volleyball began to surpass her love for basketball.
“It just hit me one day,” Robison said. “As soon as I stepped onto the court, the competition was better and the speed of the game was a lot faster. That’s when I realized volleyball was starting to take over.”
Even though volleyball was becoming her favorite sport, it still wasn’t time for Robison to say goodbye to her second love. With volleyball being played in the fall and basketball in the winter, she had the luxury of competing in both throughout her high school career.
“That was a blessing,” Robison said. “At that point, I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to basketball just yet. Having the chance to close out my career as a senior with all my friends and family with me was amazing.”
After making her mark in both sports, she is ready for her next journey. In May, the former Tiger signed her national letter of intent to play volleyball at Western Wyoming Community College.
“I’m very excited,” Robison said. “I’ve been working extremely hard to get to this point. Having the opportunity to play the game I love for another two years is a dream come true, especially in my hometown.”
Assuming that she would reach the college level, the process to get to where Robison is at now wasn’t always easy. In fact, after three years of not receiving any offers, she wasn’t even sure if she would be taking her talents to the next level.
“At that point, I was kind of between places mentally,” Robison said. “I wasn’t sure if playing past high school was even an option anymore. That’s when I started to accept the possibility of going to college as just a student.”
It wasn’t until the beginning of her senior year this year when WWCC assistant coach Danielle Torpey pulled Robison aside after one of her games. Torpey asked her if she would be interested in attending a tryout at the college in November.
Not only did Robison perform well at the first tryout, but she was even invited back for a second one in April. After wrapping up her second stint with the team, WWCC head coach Fredann Soto emailed Robison a few weeks later, asking her if she and the rest of her family could meet.
After talking with the head coach in person, it was all but just a few days before Robison gave Soto the good news, informing her that she was going to sign.
“I’m very excited for her to be joining us,” Soto said. “I watched Jayden play a few times in high school and she always did very well. Moving forward I know she is going to be another great asset for us.”
To say WWCC had a good season last year would be selling the team short. Not only did the Mustangs blow everyone’s expectations out of the water, but Western came within one win of playing for a regional championship.
“Last season was a great year for us,” Soto said. “Talent wise, we should be just as strong this year as well.”
Not only does Robison know just how talented her new team is, but going into camp the soon-to-be Mustang has set a few goals for herself.
“I just want to be successful,” Robison said. “Whatever the team or coach needs me to do, I’ll do it. My only focus right now is to work hard and to prove to everyone there that I earned my spot. The rest will take care of itself.”
Just like every college freshman, Robison doesn’t know what to expect. After playing for the same coach and same program for the last four years, WWCC is going to be a big step up. Fortunately for her, growing up playing many sports, competing has always come natural for her.
“The two biggest adjustment I think is going to be the speed of the game and the size of the competition,” said Robison. “Coming from a small/young team in high school, I’m not used to seeing girls that big on the court. However, after participating in those two tryouts earlier this year, I feel a lot more confident.”
For the last four years Robison has played outside hitter for the Tigers. Come Aug. 7 when the team reports to camp for the first time, Robison isn’t sure what position Soto will have her playing.
Being one of the smaller girls on the team, Robison and her new head coach have been in talks about her playing defensive specialist.
“If that’s the case, I’m fine with that,” Robison said. “Whatever I need to do to help us be successful.”