It was the second win for the Rhinelander High School girls' tennis team over Stevens Point in the past four days. This time at the RHS Tennis Courts, the Hodags used three close matches to secure the 5-2 non-conference victory on Tuesday evening, which was the same result as their first meeting at the Green Bay Southwest Invite.
Rhinelander won close matches at No. 2 singles, No. 4 singles, and No. 3 doubles to edge out the Panthers. RHS advanced to 13-7 overall this season and remain at 3-0 in the Great Northern Conference Standings.
At No. 4 singles, Kat Metropulos went back and forth against Tatum Thielman of Stevens Point. Metropulos cruised to a 6-2 win in the first set before Thielman battled back to take the second set 6-0 and force the tiebreaker. In the final set Metropulos went up 5-2 but couldn't seal the deal. Thielman took the next two games before Metropulos closed the match 6-4.
Senior Kenedy Van Zile also had to grind out a three-set victory at No. 2 singles over Estella Roerig. Van Zile easily won the first set 6-1 before Roesirg turned the tables and took the second second 6-4. Van Zile would pull ahead 5-4 after breaking Roerig's serve in the third set. Both players would break each other's serve the next two games before Van Zile closed the set 7-5 to take the match.
At No. 3 doubles, seniors Izzy Haverkampf and Jaiden Thiel also had a close battle in a straight set win over Caroline Blakeman and Sabrina O'Keefe. Thiel/Haverkampf would start with a 6-4 win the first set before having to fend off Blakeman/O'Keefe in the second set. The Hodag duo were down 4-5 in the second before winning the next two games to go up 6-5. It went into a tiebreaker after Rhinelander was unable to hold serve in the 12th. Thiel/Haverkampf caught a break on a double fault from the Panthers and would eventual win the tie breaker and win the second set 7-6.
The Hodags other two match wins both came in straight sets at No. 1 singles and No. 3 singles. Annika Johnson at the top singles flight had a close first set win over Jessica Kleman but pulled through to win 7-5. From there was smooth sailing as Johnson cruised to a 6-1 set win to close the match. And Kaylee Pontell at No. 3 singles earned a 6-3, 6- win over Abby Erwin.
Rhinelander's No. 1 and No. 2 doubles struggled on the evening and both were defeated in straight sets. The top Hodags doubles team of Jackie Wells and Alex Oestreich fell 6-1, 6-0 to Meghan Debot and Anna Hlavac. And Lisa White and Kathryn Borski at the second doubles flight fell 6-0, 6-1 to Steven Point's Leah Olsen and Allison Rust.
The Hodags now prepare for a big GNC dual on Thursday when they host Antigo at the RHS tennis courts. The Robins are 2-0 in the conference while RHS sits at 3-0. The match is scheduled to start at 4:30PM but with chances of rain, may be rescheduled to Friday afternoon if needed.