The Rhinelander High School boys' tennis team was able to kick of their Great Northern Conference season on Tuesday evening at the James Williams Middle School courts due to the RHS tennis courts still being covered in snow. The Hodags would sweep singles actions and cruised to a 6-1 conference dual victory.
At No. 1 singles, Markus Johnson battled his way to a 6-4, 6-4 win over Lakeland's Aaron Petersen. The only three-setter of the evening was at the No. 2 singles spot, where Russell Benoy climbed his way back after falling 2-6 in the first set to Matt Holmes of the Thunderbirds. Benoy turned the tables in the second set and would force a tiebreaker after a 6-3 win. And in the third and final set, Benoy used the momentum to finish with another 6-3 win to earn the match.
Freshman Jacob Weddle made his varsity debut on Tuesday at No. 3 singles for the Hodags and easily earned a straight-set win over Lakeland's Tom Kempinger. And at No. 4 singles, Freddy Wisner had a similar match and downed Gavin Thompson 6-0, 6-2.
Rhinelander's lone match loss of the dual came at No. 1 doubles, where Grant Gilbert and Jared Fabich were defeated 2-6, 2-6 by Jack Garcia and Anthony Holmes of the Thunderbrids. Last season Fabich/Gilbert were runner-up in the GNC race despite going 8-0 in the conference action.
At the No. 2 doubles position, Rhinelander's Jared Haug and Connor Young earned a convincing 6-1-6-0 victory over Lakeland's Jayson Krause and Sam Berger. And after going 2-0 at No. 3 doubles last season, Cade Ashenbrenner and Logan Oestrich started strong and would earn a 6-1, 6-4 win over Zach Kane and Alex Tucker of the Thunderbirds.
The Hodags will be back in action on Friday evening when they head to Wausau West for a non-conference dual. Rhinelander will then return to their conference schedule and will be on the road at Medford on Tuesday.