The Rhinelander High School volleyball team saw their season come to an end after dropping to Mauston on Tuesday night in the opening round of the WIAA playoffs. Despite behind swept in three sets, the Hodags made great strides when they faced No.3* seed the Golden Eagles and also had a height advantage in the front row. RHS fell 25-15, 25-15, 28-26.
Mauston took advantage of their home court advantage and large and rowdy student section and raced out to a 7-3 lead. RHS had a pair of attacking and a pair of receiving errors which aided the Golden Eagles. The Hodags were unable to makeup that ground and struggled in the middle of the set again with errors as Mauston went ahead 19-9.
From there RHS clawed their way back and went went on a 6-3 run to make up some ground which was highlighted by a solo block from sophomore Ariel Pauer and an outside tip kill from junior Emily Jorgensen. But the Golden Eagles but earned the final three points including back to back aces from senior Sam Kobylski to close the first set.
Rhinelander started the second set strong and went ahead 8-3 and took advantage of three straight Mauston attacking errors and freshman Ava Lamers added a middle block off a receiving error that was put just over the net. The Golden Eagles called a timeout and would bounce back with a chipped away at the lead and eventually took the lead after a RHS serving error and would never looked back and finished on a 15-5 run to again earn a 10-point win and a 2-0 lead in sets.
In the third set, the Hodags once again had a solid start and battle back and forth through the set but just came up short down the stretch. RHS went ahead 9-4 which included an outside kill from senior Cynthia Beavers and a middle tip kill from Pauer along with a receiving and service error from Mauston. RHS continued and went up 13-7 after an ace from Beavers.
The Golden Eagles rallied back with five straight points to pull within one. From that point neither team went ahead by more than two-points and was a grind until the end. Beavers had an outside tip kill to tie the set up 26-26 but Mauston took the final two points of the night. Sophomore Mia Quist recorded an outside kill and Rhinelander sent a free ball out of bounds to fall 26-28 and close their season. It was the final match for RHS seniors; Beavers, Aryssa Zasada, Novalee Juel, and Julie Breivogel.
Mauston advanced in playoffs and will haust La Crosse Logan Thursday night and improved to 26-4 on the year.
Junior libero Hannah Woracheck finished the night with 14 digs and Beavers added another eight digs. While Beavers, Lamers, and Pauer each recorded four kills. Pauer added three solo blocks and junior setter Olivia TerBeest finished with 14 assists. Rhinelander finished 1-33 on the season and marked their second straight season with only one win.
The Rhinelander High School volleyball team was on the road Tuesday night for a Great Northern Conference match up against Tomahawk. The Hatchets outlasted the Hodags and would win in four sets. Tomahawk would win 25-17, 21-25, 25-17, 25-15. Despite dropping the four-set match, RHS showed great promise and improvement battling the Hatchets.
Tomahawk senior Richelle Swan started the first set with an ace but Rhinelander stayed close and would take an early 6-4 lead with aces from junior Kahlie Arneson and senior Cynthia Beavers. The Hatchets would then go on a 9-3 run to push back ahead 13-9, where five of those points came from outside kills from senior Mady Hanse.
RHS would pull back with two points at 12-14 after a pair of attacking errors and a service error from Tomahawk. But the Hatchets rallied back with a 9-1 run to go ahead 23-13. The Hodags had four straight points including a tip kill from senior setter Aryssa Zasada and a middle kill from freshman Ava Lamers. But Tomahawk stopped the run and closed out the final two points to win 25-17.
Rhinelander proved to have their best set of the night in the second set. Beavers sparked the Hodags attack early on with three outside kills to give RHS a 5-3. Rhinelander would hold their lead a majority of the set. Junior libero Hannah Woracheck had an ace in the middle of the set along with a block, kill, and ace from sophomore Ariel Pauer paired with a few Hatchet attacking errors to put the Hodags up 16-12.
Once again Tomahawk clawed their way back and got within one at 18-17 after a pair of Rhinelander attacking errors and a service error. From there RHS responded with 6-3 run including four straight points highlighted by a two aces from Woracheck. The Hatchets got a chance after a serve into the net, but Rhinelander would close the set 25-21 after Pauer got a kill to even the sets out 1-1. Both teams combined for 10 service errors in the second set as well.
The Hodags were unable to keep that momentum going in the third as Tomahawk raced out to a 13-3 lead. Rhinelander went on a 10-5 run from there to pull within six points. Lamers had a pair of middle kills along with kills from Pauer and junior Emily Jorgensen and a pair of aces from Woracheck during the run to pull RHS within five. The Hatchets went on 5-1 run and would go on to win 25-17 and take a 2-1 advantage on the night.
The fourth and final set Tomahawk again had an early jump and would take a 11-4 lead. RHS only went on small runs including a 4-1 run to get within four at 8-12 but would be as close as they would come. The Hatchets would go on to win 25-15 and earn the 3-1 GNC victory on their senior night. Tomahawk was led by Hanse would finished the with the match high of 17 kills, seven coming in the first set.
Beavers was Rhinelander's top attacker and would record nine kills and also had seven digs. Lamers charted seven kills and Paur added four kills and two blocks. Jorgensen and Arneson each finished with three kills. Zasada put up 20 assists and Woracheck would tally nine digs as well as six aces. Arneson chipped in three aces as well.
The Hodags finished the GNC 0-12 and are now 1-27 overall. Rhinelander will compete in a non-conference invite at Wausau West Saturday before they shift their focus to playoffs. RHS drew the #15 seed and will be on the road on Tuesday to take on No. 2 seed Mauston.
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