Hannah Robey almost wasn’t a member of the TJC volleyball team the past two seasons. She almost didn’t play a huge part in two national tournament appearances for the Apache Ladies.
And despite the fact that she almost was a part of Blinn’s national championship run last season, she doesn’t regret the way things turned out.
“These are some of the best coaches I have ever had,” Robey said. “Everything we learned here is going to take us to the next level and help us succeed at the next level for sure.”
David Rehr, the head coach at Blinn at the time, recruited Robey out of Longview two years ago. She was set to be a part of the program there.
However, Rehr left Blinn for Arkansas State and Robey questioned her commitment to the school. She switched it to TJC and head coach Ronda Shirley.
The rest is history as she helped lead the Apache Ladies to a fifth-place finish at the national tournament in 2012 and a runner-up finish in 2013.
She recently made the decision to rejoin Rehr at Arkansas Tech, making the signing official in a small ceremony at Wagstaff Gym on April 25.
“I wasn’t going to play after TJC, but Dave called me and said, ‘Hey, we want you to come play with us again.’ I jumped at the opportunity because he was the one that I wanted to go play for initially,” said Robey.
“I love the way it worked out because even though I didn’t get to go play for him, I got to play for Coach Shirley and still had two wonderful years and now I am still going to get to go to Arkansas and play for him again.”
Robey isn’t the only TJC volleyball player moving on. Teammate Jacqueline Perez made her signing with Texas A&M; Commerce official at the same time as Robey.
She could have chosen several schools – including Division I programs – but decided on A&M; Commerce because of what she saw on her visit there.
“I had some other schools that were looking at me, some other D-2’s, some D-1’s and even some D-3’s,” Perez said. “But A&M; Commerce, when I went on the visit, it was an easy drive to get there. It was a nice visit. The girls were nice. The coaching staff was great.”
Shirley said she was excited about the two signing, and noted that they played a huge role in the team’s success the last two seasons.
“They are both going to do a fabulous job,” Shirley said. “I realized how much I am going to miss them and how much they really brought to the team and what they allowed us to do this year.
“A big part of our success this year was what they were able to do on the floor defensively, passing, helping us run our offense.”
Both players cited Shirley and her staff’s mentoring as something they will take to the next level.
“I will take a lot of things that I have learned, both on the court and off the court,” Perez said. “To be disciplined, to not get down on yourself, to be a better person really because coach Shirley not only taught me to be a better player, but to be a better person, as well.”