JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Violet Robbins is the best in a sport that she may not be playing for much longer.
The Bolles star and All-News4JAX girls tennis player of the year, romped through the regular season on her way to a state runner-up finish.
Pretty impressive. But that accomplishment is even more impressive considering that it’s not tennis that has Robbins’ full attention right now.
That would be golf, a sport that the Connecticut native said has taken more and more of her attention since she first began playing nearly two years ago. To be able to seamlessly go back and forth between the two and star in each says quite a bit about Robbins’ talents.
“I hadn’t played a lot of serious tennis in a while, just because of golf. I’m kind of switching sports,” she said.
“So, it was nice for me to be able to be there and take it super seriously, which wasn’t something I necessarily needed to do during the season. So those few matches meant a lot to me because I felt like I was transported back to when I was playing juniors.”
Tennis was her first love. Robbins first picked up a racket when she was 4 years old and began playing on a serious level when she was 7. But then golf piqued her interest and Robbins had a decision to make.
Since golf and tennis were in played during the same spring season in Connecticut, Robbins and her family started looking for an option out of state so that she could do both.
On the golf course, Robbins was solid for the Bulldogs. She carded a 5-over 77 to help Bolles win the district title at Jacksonville Beach Golf Course last October. Robbins followed with a 4-over 76 to help Bolles win the Region 1-1A tournament after that.
When tennis season rolled around in spring, Robbins was ripping shots across the court in the regular season and still trying to hone her golf swing, too. Not that regular season high school tennis bored her, but like many elite high school-age players, it doesn’t resemble the junior game that provides a far greater challenge.
Robbins gave up just one game in the regular season, a 6-1, 6-0 win over Bartram Trail’s Maddie Martin.
That’s why when she reached the Class 2A state tournament, it brought back so many memories of serious junior tennis.
In the 2A state tourney, Robbins plowed through, including a 4-6, 6-3, 11-9 win over Pine Crest’s Michaela Landry to ignite her winning run through the ghost draw bracket.
Robbins lost an agonizing overall singles final against Coconut Creek’s Juhnyee See, 3-6, 7-5, 10-12.
“My personality is I go in and I want to win everything. My expectation is always to win, always to grind it out even if I’m not playing my best. That last match was a little disappointing for me but other than that I had a pretty good season.”
All-News4JAX girls tennis team
Athlete, School, Class, Notable
Stella Hyatt, St. Johns Country Day, Jr.
Second-team selection on All-News4JAX team last year. Went 8-0 in the regular season for the Spartans at the No. 1 singles spot. Won a match in the Class 1A state tournament before falling in the semis. Went 4-0 in doubles with Calli Berrang. That duo had an excellent showing in state tournament with a pair of wins before falling in semis.
Kylie Kochis, Nease, Fr.
Went 8-2 in the regular season in singles with losses to player of the year Violet Robbins and three-setter to Oakleaf’s AJ Tabora. Went to state in doubles with Gloria Xiao and won opener in Class 4A tournament in a 5-7, 6-2, 10-7 thriller before falling in semis. Went 8-1 in doubles with Xiao.
Violet Robbins, Bolles, So.
All-News4JAX player of the year. Went 6-0 in the regular season at the No. 1 singles spot to help lead Bolles to unbeaten season. Won three matches at state and helped lead the Bulldogs to a romp through the regional playoff rounds.
Kaylee Stacy, Fernandina Beach, Sr.
Went 9-0 in the regular season in singles and 7-0 in doubles. Two-time All-News4JAX first-team selection. State qualifier for third season.
AJ Tabora, Oakleaf, Jr.
Two-time All-News4JAX selection. Went 9-0 in the regular season at the No. 1 spot. Won singles opener in Class 4A state tournament. Went 3-1 at the No. 1 doubles spot with Allison Capuzzo.
Gloria Xiao, Nease, Fr.
The other half of the Panthers’ dynamic freshman duo. Went 9-1 at No. 2 singles and 8-1 at top doubles spot with Kylie Kochis.
Athlete, School, Class
Gabriela Feliciano, Fleming Island, Sr.
Mary Kate Jarvis, Episcopal, So.
Minji Lee, Bolles, Sr.
Maddie Martin, Bartram Trail, Jr.
Kyla Proctor, Jackson, So.
Isabella Toby, Ponte Vedra