The Rhinelander High School boys' tennis team advanced to 5-0 in the Great Northern Conference after defeating Medford 5-2 again Thursday. The Hodags doubles team won all three flights the evening to help secure the dual win over the Raiders, as Rhinelander continues to push toward their sixth straight conference title."We are starting to look like the season is a month old,"
Coach Bob Heideman said. "There are signs of improvement."
All three Rhinelander doubles flights won in straight sets over Medford. At the top flight seniors Conner Young and Logan Oestreich cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Riley Kleist and Aaron Connolly. "Connor and Logan served very well,"
noted Heideman. "That coupled with some steady played lead to a relatively easy win."
Freshmen Luke Ring and Elijah Evers at No. 2 doubles would defeated Medford's Zach Kawa and Luis Siva 6-1, 6-4. "Luke and Elijah are much more confident during their matches,"
Heideman said. "It comes out in the pace that they're hitting with. They still make too many errors, but that is countered by better shot selection."
And closing out the doubles sweep at the third flight for Rhinelander was senior Bridger Flory and sophomore Billy Berwig. Flory and Berwig defeated Tahtankka Damm and Ethan Kraemer 6-2, 6-0. "Billy and Bridger lost the first two games and ran off 12,"
said Heideman. "What I like about them, is they are always looking to improve."
While in singles action, the Hodags split the four flights, winning two and falling in a pair. At the top flight, sophomore Jacob Weddle remains at 5-0 in the GNC after beating Charlie Branstetter 6-3, 6-4. "Jacob Weddle has not had many easy matches and Branstetter was no exception,"
Heideman said. "He was down 2-3 in the second set and put break and a hold together to take the lead. I don't think Jacob ever felt comfortable with how he was hitting the ball."
And senior Ian Conkey at No. 4 singles won 6-2, 6-4 over Medford's Logan Searles. In their first meeting, Conkey battled back after dropping the first set to win the three-setter, this time he beat him in straight sets."Ian Conkey's first match against Seales was a long three-setter,"
noted Heideman. "Tonight was different. Ian led from beginning to end and never let hi off the hook. One of Ian’s best matches."
Senior Russell Benoy fell 6-4, 6-4 to Sterling Reilly of Medford at No. 2 singles. And senior Freddy Wisner at No. 3 singles fell 6-4, 6-2 to Medord's Riley Kleist.
Rhinelander will continue their GNC schedule on Tuesday when they host Antigo at the RHS tennis courts. Both the Hodags and Robin remain perfect in the GNC standings.