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.