Republic dedicated the night to its volleyball seniors, and its seniors came through in the clutch to deliver a three-set victory over Springfield Parkview Monday, 20-25, 26-24, 25-8.
The Lady Tigers fell behind 9-1 in the first set before rallying to get back in the match. In the second set, with the score tied at 23, freshman Kaemyn Bekemeier made a diving save on the sideline to keep the point alive, and Republic eventually won it, setting up a 26-24 win to tie the score at one set apiece.
The third set was all Republic, with the Lady Tigers dominating from the start.
“We were down. We could have curled up and … just died and let them take the game tonight,” said coach Allison Davis. “But mentally, they just took over and people were making plays. I told them this is the type of team that I have seen, and I know it’s in there. It shows you brought it tonight, and I was so proud of that.”
Senior Rylee Moseman had 11 kills to lead Republic. Moseman and another senior, Emma Pearce, had ten digs apiece. Fellow senior Carle Ward had two blocks, and freshman Kailey Manes registered 13 assists.
Before the varsity match, Republic recognized Moseman, Pearce, Ward, and Abby McKee, in addition to senior manager Lexi Potarf. Davis spoke after the match about what the senior class has meant to her transition into the program as a new coach.
“I said this from the very beginning and I mean this with all my heart: the four seniors … and Lexi have been truly amazing. Usually when you are a new coach, it takes a while to build those relationships with those seniors that you’re only gonna have for just a few months,” Davis said. “But they literally just took me with open arms and have been completely open about building that relationship. And I feel like even though I’ve had them for just a few months and just one season, it’s been unbelievable.”
The Lady Tigers played in front of the loudest student crowd of the season on Spirit Night, organized by the school’s Athletic Leadership Council, a group of student leaders selected from every athletic team. Davis said the raucous crowd made a “huge difference. The school support and the kids were just awesome. I feel like that helped the momentum of the game, and that type of thing is priceless. Having that support is unbelievable.”
The Republic JV won in three sets and the freshmen won in two.