(by David Brazeal)

“Our Best Tennis:” Republic Falls Short in District Championship

The Lady Tigers played better and better tennis as the season went on, but they fell just short of a district championship against Nixa Wednesday in a 5-3 loss at Cooper Tennis Complex. Republic, seeded third, had beaten second-seeded Lebanon to advance to the finals, but ran out of upset magic against top-seeded Nixa.

Just like the last time Republic and Nixa played this season, the match came down to the wire. Republic opened the day with two doubles wins, one by Monica Henry and Mari Davidson, and the other by Katie Teeter and Ella Lashley.

In singles play, Katie Teeter won, giving Republic three wins in the best-of-five format. But that was the last win of the day for the Lady Tigers. Nixa grabbed a 4-3 lead with two close matches still unfinished.

Republic needed wins from both Elli Woodward and Ella Lashley. Woodward lost the first set of her singles match, but led in the second set. Lashley won her first set, but lost the second. That set up a 10-point tiebreaker for Lashley and her opponent, which Nixa won to clinch the championship.

The season was one of constant improvement for Republic, according to coach David Smashey.

“We just got better and better, both physically and in our understanding of the game — but also just taking care of each other and rooting for each other. We really came together here toward the end, and we played our best tennis today,” Smashey said. “I would say the second-best match we played all year was earlier in the year (against Nixa). This is probably the best match we played all year. And we just came up just short against a really good Nixa team.”


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