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Mykenzie Hicks had 16 digs to lead Republic past Joplin.

Fast Start Fuels Volleyball Win over Joplin

If the Lady Tigers were still feeling the effects of a tough loss to COC rival Willard on Tuesday, they didn’t show it. Republic stormed out to the big early lead, dominating the first set on the way to a 25-8, 25-13, 22-25, 25-14 win over Joplin at home Thursday. Sophomore Rilynn Finley led the Lady Tigers with 16 kills and two blocks.

“We were hungry. We want to do well in our conference and we want to be respected,” said coach Allison Davis. “And we know we have to show it. We’ve got to do the work, and that’s what they did tonight. We needed this.”

Republic had barely lost two close sets against a good Willard squad Tuesday before losing control of the game in the third. But Thursday, the Lady Tigers left nothing to chance with a quick start.

“They came out on fire. In the beginning of the season, we struggled with that,” Davis said. “That first couple of sets was awesome.”

Republic hit a lull in the third, allowing Joplin to squeak out a win, before righting the ship to finish off the Eagles in four.

“We hit a rough patch, but what’s awesome to me is the fact that we overcame that,” Davis said.

Mykenzie Hicks had 16 digs for the Lady Tigers. Kaemyn Bekemeier and Avery Riggs contributed four service aces apiece, and Payge Plank had 48 assists.

Republic improves to 18-6 overall, and 3-3 in the COC.

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