Republic’s volleyball season came to an end Wednesday in a district semifinal loss to Carthage, 25-21, 25-19. Coach Piper Wright’s young team fell behind early in the first set and had a hard time recovering.
“I think we got a little bit scared—a bit nervous—and just didn’t play the defense, starting with our block, that I know we can,” Wright says. “When that…breaks down, everything else kind of breaks down, and if you have any doubts going against a team like , it’s hard to battle that mentally.”
Republic won a long, tense point to take a 5-4 lead in the second set, but the lead was short-lived, as Carthage re-asserted its size advantage up front, pulling away to advance to the district championship match. The loss ended Republic’s disappointing season, but Wright says she will remember this year’s group for its work ethic.
“I’ve had some really hard working teams, and this is one of the hardest working that I’ve had. I think one of the key words that comes to mind is ‘perseverance.’ We’ve kind of had a lot going on this year. We were pretty young, with all those sophomores out there, and so there’s just been a lot of mental battles this year, and we’ve persevered and I’m proud of that.”
In the district championship match, host team Carl Junction defeated Carthage to capture the title.