After the Rhinelander High School volleyball team picked up their first win of the season, they were unable to keep that momentum going. The Tomahawk Hatchets swept the Hodags in three sets in their Great Northern Conference opener on Thursday.
Tomahawk outmatched Rhinelander and won 25-15, 25-9, 25-15 at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium. The Hodags had some solid runs but was unable to keep up with the Hatchets down the stretch.
Rhinelander battled strong in the first set and stayed within striking distance and were within two points at 12-14 before the Hatchets rallied to close the set on a 11-3 run.
The second set proved to be a different story, where RHS could not stop Tomahawk's speed as well as their height in the front row where they had several quick sets in the middle. The Hodags also lost setter Olivia TerBeest due to an injury in the second set who recorded eight assists in the second before leaving the match. Aryssa Zasada replaced TerBeest and add three assists in the second.
Kahlie Arneson and Ariel Pauer led Rhinelander's offense and each recorded three kills on the night. While Brynn Brzycki, Emily Jorgensen, and Brylee Ridderbusch all finished with one kill. Jorgensen also added two aces.
On defense, libero Hannah Worachek led the team with seven digs on the night and Pauer chipped in five digs. The Hodags did not record a block on the night despite having a taller lineup than they have had in the past few seasons.
Rhinelander fell to 1-10 on the season. RHS will be back in action on Tuesday night when they travel to Medford for another tough GNC matchup. First-serve is set for 7:00PM at Raider Hall.
After a difficult 2018 season, head coach Brianna Scheuermann and the Rhinelander High School volleyball team are looking to continue to improve and make strides this upcoming season. Rhinelander lost a pair of seniors to graduation including their top attacker Brooke Mork who also led the team in digs in the conference. Despite the losses RHS returns a majority of their varsity players who have worked hard in the off-season and are looking to chart more victories this season.
Rhinelander finished 0-12 in the Great Northern Conference and only won a single conference set last year and finished 1-38 overall. Scheuermann was also hired only a month prior to season in 2018, which the team lost most of their off-season with the transition to a new coach. This summer proved to be a different story, as the team worked hard to make the summer season count.
The Hodags will return one of their top players, junior Hannah Worachek. Last year Worachek recorded 19 kills in the GNC as an outside hitter and added 54 digs as well. For the upcoming season, Worachek will transition to the back row as the teams' libero to replace graduate Mikayla Evenstad before a knee injury in the second half of the season.
Rhinelander will also have the benefit of a taller front row lineup including a pair of six-foot sophomores; Brynn Brzycki and Ariel Pauer. The Hodags return their top blocker from last season as well, Kahlie Arneson who finished ninth in the GNC with 20 blocks. She will also be joined by Emily Jorgensen and Maddie Fisher. Senior Cynthia Beavers will also be an addition this year after transferring from Three Lakes last year and earning second team all-Northern Lakes.
Returning as as setter for Rhinelander will be Aryssa Zasada who led the Hodags with 55 assists in the conference a year ago. RHS also has the potential to run a 6-2 system on top of a 5-1 formation if junior Olivia TerBeest is also on the court. Rhinelander also returns Brylee Ridderbusch, Julie Breivogel, and Novalee Juel to their varsity roster.
The Hodags scrimmaged at Merrill on Saturday and will officially begin their season Tuesday when they host a varsity/JV quad at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium beginning at 2:00PM. RHS will face Ashland, Chequamegon, and Three Lakes. Rhinelander will then head to Wisconsin Dells for an invite on Thursday and Friday. The Hodags will have their GNC opener when they host Tomahawk on September, 5th.
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