Republic Brings Home First-Ever State Tennis Trophy (Photos)

The Lady Tigers finished their state playoff run with a fourth-place finish in Springfield Saturday. After dropping a close 5-3 decision to St. Pius X in the semifinals, Republic lost to Mary Institute-Country Day in Saturday’s match, 5-0.

(Day 2 photo gallery below.)

“They should be proud of themselves for reaching the state semis,” said coach Dan Vales after the Friday loss. Even with the disappointing weekend, Vales said the team exceeded preseason expectations by improving throughout the year.

“Any season, you obviously want to work toward getting as far as you get, but realistically, that wasn’t the top of our expectations for the season,” he said. Much of that success stems from contributions of players who are new to the sport.

“It’s pretty cool – you look at the team pictures from even two years ago, some of the varsity pictures, none of these girls are even in the picture…” Vales said. “Elsie (Crawford) kind of dipped her toe in the water a little bit, but for the most part, these girls have developed in our program the last couple years and established themselves at the varsity level quickly. That’s really neat to see girls come in and put the work in to reach a higher level of play.”

Photos by David Brazeal

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