Republic’s volleyball team fought from behind much of the night, dropping a match to Ozark on the road Thursday, 25-23, 22-25, 25-20, 25-20.
In the first set, Republic fell behind 13-7, and then again 23-18. They evened the score 23-23, but Ozark finished off the set with two straight points. One came on a kill down the left sideline and another on an easy put away when Republic’s pass got too close to the net.
The big play of the second set belonged to Addison Fanning with the score tied 23-23. Fanning sprinted backward beyond the baseline to save a ball that looked like it was going to result in an Ozark point. Republic went on to win the point and won the next point, too. That gave them a 25-23 win and evened the score at one set apiece.
The third set was close most of the way. But Ozark built a three-point lead at 22-19, and after Republic called a timeout, Ozark won three of the next four points to achieve a 25-20 victory and a 2-1 advantage.
In the fourth set, the Republic trailed by as many as seven points at 17-10 and 19-12. Republic cut the lead to two points at 19-17, but Ozark buckled down and finished off the match with a 25-20 score.
Rilynn Finley had 23 kills for Republic, and Alaina Norman had 15. Norman also had four service aces.
Defensively, the Lady Tigers were led by Finley, with 18 digs. Fanning and Reese Finley had 16 each. Fanning also had six blocks.
The loss is the fourth of the year for Republic, which falls to 10-4. The JV and freshman teams also lost.
Republic will compete in the Springfield Classic tournament this weekend.