The Lady Tigers volleyball team would have had its hands full with state-ranked Nixa, even at full strength. But missing two starters because of COVID quarantines, Republic didn’t have the firepower to hang with the Eagles, losing a district match in straight sets, 25-9, 25-10, 25-15.
“I’ve told my girls a lot this season, but especially tonight, ‘You know what? Just play with your heart, have fun and give everything that you possibly have in this game tonight,'” said coach Allison Davis.
The loss ends Republic’s season with a 9-17-2 record. In a decade of coaching, Davis said this year’s challenges have been unique.
“I’ve had a variety of types of seasons – where we’ve won, where we’ve lost a lot, injuries and things like that. This … has been probably the most challenging. I don’t like to use COVID as an excuse, but unfortunately it was just something that was always hanging our over our head.”
The Lady Tigers missed two weeks early in the season when several of their players were quarantined. They followed that up with a very busy three-week stretch while they made up the games they’d missed.
“I feel like we came in with a bang, with us being quarantined the first part of the season, and we kind of went out with a bang, being out two key players tonight,” Davis said. She also called out Ella Riggs and Alycia Hauck, two seniors who played in their final game. “They’ve been in our program three or four years, and they lead the team well and I’m super proud of them.”
Despite the difficult circumstances in Republic’s last match, Davis said she was proud of how her team responded.
“I truly believe that people stepped up tonight. We’re a young team. The future looks really good.”