Two Republic tennis players advance to state tournament

It took several hours longer than expected, but Republic seniors Hannah Morgan and Katie Stiles advanced to the state touranament with a doubles win over Jungeun Go and Sarah Kiesewetter of Willard. Stiles and Morgan hadn’t played together as a doubles team until the district tournament, which they won. But Stiles said the late-season adjustment wasn’t too difficult.
“It wasn’t really that big an adjustment. Hannah and I practice together every day,” Stiles said. “We’ve known each other since we were ... five years old.”
Morgan credited communication between points for much of their playoff success.
“We come together in the middle and we talk about it. If we mess up, we talk what we did and we just come back from it. We know that every point, we can do something new and get it back,” Morgan said.
Republic sent five players to the individual sectional round for the first time in program history. Singles
player Elsie Crawford and doubles pair Sedalia Shumaker and Abby McCord lost their sectional matches.
In the team state bracket, Republic lost its sectional match to Springfield Central Saturday, 5-0. The Lady Tigers lost all three doubles matches and weren’t able to overcome that early deficit.
Despite the loss, coach Dan Vales said he is proud of what his team accomplished after losing several key contributors from last fall.
“It really was a big ac- complishment for this team. There was a lot of unknowns going into the year, when we lost our #1, #2, and #6 play- ers from the lineup,” Vales said. “I think they answered the bell on it [and] really had a great season. So we’re really proud of them. And getting to team sectionals is always tough. We hadn’t done that since 2012.”
The match marked the final appearance for senior Carly McAtee, who has been a fixture in the lineup and won several big matches this year, including the district clincher over Webb City.


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