The Rhinelander High School girls' tennis team closed out their Great Northern Conference dual portion of the season on Thursday evening, blanking Lakeland on the road. The Hodags went 7-0 against the Thunderbirds and was their last opportunity to give themselves conference points before going into Saturday's GNC tournament.
"We controlled what we could," noted Coach Bob Heideman. "Now we wait for the Antigo scores in their last two matches and prepare for the conference meet."
Rhinelander now has a 10-point advantage over Antigo in the conference standings, but the Robins still have one more dual match to play against Wausau Newman Tuesday. Antigo would take a lead in conference points if they finish with a 6-1 victory or better.
"It was encouraging to see we got stronger as the sets and meets progressed," said Heideman. "Despite the scores, Lakeland was competing to the end. They have some fighters on that team. This was not an easy match."
In singles play, Alex Oestreich at the top flight would earn a 6-2, 6-2 win over Reilly Coon. No.2 singles player Emma Roberts defeated Linnea Turner 6-1, 6-1. Kenedy Van Zile beat Tessa Tourmoen 6-2, 6-0. And Kaylee Pontell at No. 4 singles completed the sweep with a convincing 6-0, 6-0 over Lorraine Hammes.
"Alexis controlled the match from the net," noted Heideman. "The points were short. They didn't give Lakeland many chances."
The Hodags strongest matches proved to be in doubles action where they only fell in two games in the three total flights. Haley Seefeldt and Annika Johnson at the top doubles flight cruised to a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Hayley Fieck and Anna Maulson.
"Annika and Halery were pretty steady which is important in their game," Heideman said. "They kept the ball in play long enough to wait for their opportunities."
Alexis Pyrchalla and Madi Losch at Rhinelander's second doubles flight had a convincing 6-0, 6-0 sweep over Lakeland's Kiah Gauthier and Julie Neuberg. And Jackie Wells and Savannah Chartier earned a 6-0, 6-1 win against Brie Nimsgern and Cierra Hayman.
Rhinelander finished the GNC dual portion of the season 6-1 and are now 21-4 overall. The Hodags will be back in action on Saturday when they play in the GNC tournament held in Minocqua at Lakeland Union High School with the confernece title on the line. RHS will then host D.C. Everest on September 24th before they host sub-sectionals at the RHS tennis courts.
The Rhinelander High School girls' tennis team cashed in on a 6-1 Great Northern Conference win over Pacelli on Tuesday evening and marked the teams' 20th win this season, which proved to be their first time reaching in program history.
"To get to 20 team wins, you have to some solid flights and we have several who reached the 20-win plateau," said Coach Bob Heideman. "Although not as rare as the 20-team wins, it is still a marker that delineates a mark of achievement."
Not only did it mark the teams’ 20th win, but four Hodags' have charted over 20 individuals victories as well. Rhinelander advanced to 20-4 overall and 5-1 in the GNC standings.
Rhinelander's No. 4 singles player, freshman Kaylee Pontell advanced to 22-2 on the season after a 6-1, 6-1 win against Amanda Lansing. Kenedy Van Zile at No. 3 singles earned a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Marissa Stolt and would advance to 21-3 on the year.
And also picking up their 21st victory was Rhinelander’s No. 3 doubles team Savannah Chartier and Jackie Wells. Chartier and Wells battled their way to a close 6-4, 6-4 win against Tessa Rogers and Leah Shibilski.
In the Hodags' top singles flight, Alex Oestreich picked up a 6-2, 6-4 win and fended off Stephie Vaughan. And at No. 2 singles, Emma Roberts charted a straight set (6-0, 6-3) win against Dani Mengel.
"Alex had a huge win at number one singles," Heideman said. "Two pretty evenly matched players. Alex was down in the second set and put some games together to seal the match. Alex worked very hard to limit her errors."
Rhinelander's No. 2 doubles team of Madi Losch and Alexis Pyrchalla recorded a 6-4, 6-3 win against Pacelli's Amanda Cisewski and Mari Olson.
"Our number two doubles put themselves back in the discussion for the number one seed by beating Pacelli," said Heideman. "We've got a triangle to unravel; Pacelli beat Antigo, Antigo beat us, we beat Pacelli."
The only loss for the Hodags' on the evening came at the top doubles flight, where Annika Johnson and Haley Seefeldt dropped a three-setter to Ella Schroeder and Sophie Schroeder. Johnson/Seefeldt started strong with a 6-3 but would fade in the final two sets and fell 6-2, 6-2.
"We kept pace with Antigo in the conference race with the 6-1 win," Heideman said. "Backing up the varsity, the top four JVs have had an exceptional season so far. Jaiden Theil, Izzy Haverkampf, Lisa White, and Kathryn Borski have complied a 76-3 record."
Rhinelander closed the gap with Antigo in the GNC race and now sit only eight points behind. The Robins also have played one less conference dual as well. The Hodags will return to GNC action on the road at Lakeland on Thursday. The GNC tournament will be held at Lakeland Union High School on Saturday at 9:00AM.
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