The Rhinelander High School girls' tennis team advanced two flights to the 2018 WIAA Division 1 Sectionals on Wednesday in Eau Claire. Freshman Kaylee Pontell went 1-1 to finish second while No. 1 doubles team of senior Haley Seefeldt and freshman Annika Johnson fell in their only match of the the day.
Seefeldt and Johnson fell in straight sets to senior Madison Etzel and senior Mary Obias of Eau Claire Memorial. Johnson/Seefeldt had a slow start to their match and would fall 6-1 but would push back in the second set, but would come up short and were defeated 7-5.
Etzel/Obias would finish third overall at sectionals. Eau Claire Memorial also went on to win the team sectional title with 44 points. Johnson was the only underclassman in the eight No. 1 doubles pairs at sectionals as well.
Pontell started the day strong with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Natalie Harvey of Eau Claire Memorial and was only one match away from being the Hodags' first sectional champion in nearly decade.
In the second match against junior Lauren Flaschenreim of Menomonie, Pontell would rally for six straight games to win the opening set 6-2. But Pontell would fade in the second and would fall 6-4 and force a tie breaker set. In the third set Flaschenreim would maintain momentum and would win 6-1 to earn the sectional title at No. 4 singles.
The Hodags would finish their season 42-7 overall and regained the Great Northern Conference tile, going 6-1 in the GNC two edge Antigo by two points. Despite not sending any netters to state, RHS still had a successful season and bring back plenty of talent for next season.
The Rhinelander High School girls' tennis team finished in second place out of the eight team WIAA Division 1 subsectionals at the RHS Tennis courts on Tuesday. The Hodgas and 2018 Great Northern Conference champions battle against Wisconsin Valley Conference rivals and was able to advance two flights on to sectionals.
The subsectionall tournament was originally slated for Monday, but weather pushed the meet back a day. And Tuesday action was also delayed to dry the courts off.
The top doubles team of senior Haley Seefeldt and freshman Annika Johnson used a three-set win to move on. While the Hodag duo will be joined at the Eau Claire Sectional by freshman teammate Kaylee Pontell at No. 4 singles.
Rhinelander's Johnson/Seefeldt only need to win one match to advance and was seeded third overall at subsectionals. But that task proved to be a challenge against sixth-seeded Marshfield pair of Mikayla Brueggen and Alexis Means.
It was a slow start for Seefeldt/Johnson who would drop the first set 6-3. Means/Brueggen used that moment and would win the first game of the second set before the Hodags rallied back. Johnson/Seefeldt turned the tables and won six straight sets and win the second set and force a tiebreaker. In the third set Seefeldt/Johnson were back on track and would earn a 6-4 victory and earn their ticket to sectionals.
And at No. 4 singles, second-seeded Pontell earned two straight set victories to also advance to the Eau Claire Sectionals. In her first match Pontell cruised to a convincing 6-2, 6-0 win over Taylor Moermond of D.C. Everest. And Pontell closed the day with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Ameila Skoviera of Merrill.
Rhinelander's remaining five flights at subsectionals were also only one win away heading to sectionals, but a few upsets stopped them short of advancing.
Kenedy Van Zile who was seeded second at No. 3 singles was knocked off in the second match of the day and fell to Claire Peterson of Wausau East 6-0, 6-2. And also seeded second was the Hodags' No. 3 doubles team of Savannah Chartier and Jackie Wells. In the second match Wells/Chartier would drop a three-setter (2-6, 6-3, 6-1) to Ally Abbott and Hannah Jarosch of Wisconsin Rapids.
Top singles player Alex Oestreich also was knocked off in straight sets by Savannah Carroll of Wausau East. Emma Roberts at No. 2 singles would face top-seeded Lilia Teske of Wausau West and would fall 6-0, 6-0 and marked their fourth time facing each other this season.
The Hodags No. 2 doubles team of Madi Losch and Alexis Pyrchalla also fell in the second round and were a match shy of advancing. Marshfield's Emily Reis and Lauren Wiegel won 6-2, 6-3 over Prychalla/Losch.
Rhinelander's two flights including Seefeldt, Johnson, and Pontell won't get much rest and will take part in sectionals in Eau Claire beginning at 9:00AM today.
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