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.