The Rhinelander High School girls' tennis team advanced to 3-0 in the Great Northern Conference and 16-1 overall on Thursday after earning a 6-1 road victory over Wausau Newman. The Hodags improved in their second matchup against the Cardinals this season. Last time was a non-conference dual in August where RHS earned a 5-2 win. Rhinelander cruised to six straight sets wins at Oak Island Park and the only flight they didn’t take was at No. 1 singles.
"We played well tonight," said Coach Bob Heideman. "Down the line our scores are better than it our first match with Newman."
One of the prime examples of the Hodags' improvements in their second time around against the Cardinals came at No. 2 doubles where Madi Losch and Alexis Prychalla defeated Julia Welter and Ali Bennett 6-1, 6-2. Prychalla/Losch dropped a third set tie breaker match in their first match.
"At one doubles in the first match they had an easy first set but the second was a tough 7-5, tonight they came out strong and didn’t let Newman off the hook in the second," said Heideman.
At the top doubles flight, Haley Seefeldt and Annika Johnson earned a 6-1,6-1 victory over Grace Sukanen and Sara Sukanen. And completing the sweep in doubles action was Jackie Wells and Savannah Chartier at No. 3 doubles. The Hodag duo defeated Anna Hakett and Desirae Lo 6-1,6-0.
In singles play, Rhinelander won three of four of the flights. Emma Roberts at No. 2 singles won 6-1,6-1 over Becky Larrain. And at No. 3 singles, Kenedy Van Zile also won 6-1,6-1 against Megan Peck. And Kaylee Pontel picked up a 6-0,6-0 win over Ruby Haupt at No. 4 singles.
The Hodags only loss of the evening game at the top singles flight where Alex Oestreich fell in straight sets to Mia Larrain. Last year Larrain finished fifth at the WIAA Division 2 state tournament.
Rhinelander advanced to 3-0 in the Great Northern Conference. Antigo is also 3-0 in the conference but are two points ahead of the Hodags. RHS will face the defending GNC champs on the road on Thursday. The Hodags’ will first take part in the two-day Green Bay Southwest Invite.