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Screen Shot 2012 08 07 at 9 27 07 PMWith three state quarterfinal appearances in volleyball in the past five years, expectations are as high as ever for the Republic Lady Tigers.

Last year, the Lady Tigers got within a game of going to the state semifinals before falling to Ozark in a heartbreaker. Republic has only four players back from that squad, but they’re a solid nucleus. Alex Botkin, Sarah Kreul, Lexi Birlew and Brandy Glessner will anchor the Lady Tigers this year. Wright says those four have set the bar high for the newcomers.

“Luckily I have kids who have those high expectations for themselves,” she says. “We’re just getting in the gym every day and working really hard, knowing in the back of our mind that we want to go as far, if not farther this year.”

Kreul was an all-state setter on last year’s team, which finished with a record of 30-6-3. Kreul says she knows it’s up to her and the other returning varsity players to lead the way.

“It’s a lot of working in new players, and trying to get them into the flow of a faster game,” says Kreul. “I think we all have a leadership role. We all know that we have high expectations this year, and we’re the ones that need to enforce what needs to get done.”

Republic opens its season on August 30th at home against Carl Junction. It can’t come soon enough for Wright.

“I love summer, but I’ve just been itching to get started,” she says. “I’m very excited.”

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