Republic volleyball erased a decade of frustration against Willard, and it didn’t take long to do it. Republic swept Willard in three quick sets — 25-12, 25-15, 25-15, opening Central Ozark Conference play with a win.
“I looked it up before Monday’s practice and let them know that 2013 was the last time Republic beat Willard. So that was something we wanted tonight,” said coach Allison Davis.
Republic was better in every aspect of the game, and the outcome was hardly in doubt from the early points. Building a large lead early allowed Republic to relax and enjoy the evening.
“Our two goals tonight were to be consistent and to have fun,” Davis said. “We’ve had a really packed schedule the last few weeks with tournaments and everything, and I wanted their focus to be being a consistent team, then making sure we remember we’re here to have fun, too.”
Rilynn Finley had eight kills, and she also led the team with eight digs, along with Kaemyn Bekemeier. Kailey Manes and Addison Fanning each had two blocks. Alaina Norman contributed three service aces, and Brooklyn Clayton racked up 19 assists.
“I think it just helps us build our confidence moving forward,” Davis said. “We were a well-oiled machine tonight.”
Republic is 19-7 overall and 1-0 in COC play. Nineteen wins is the most by Republic since Davis became head coach four seasons ago. It’s the most wins for the program since 2013, when the Lady Tigers finished 23-11-3.
The Republic freshman and JV teams both won in two sets.