The Rhinelander High School volleyball team fell to Tomahawk on Tuesday on Senior night but showed improvements throughout the sets. The Hatchets cruised to a 25-11, 25-6, 25-17 victory to sweep the Hodags at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium.
Senior Brooke Mork led the Hodags' offense and finished the night with six kills. Both Mork and libero Mikayla Evenstad who has been out with a knee injury, were honored before the match by Coach Brianna Scheuermann and teammates.
Rhinelander hung with the Hatchets early in the first and their offense was sparked by Mork who had two early kills to bring the Hodags within four at 5-9. But after a Tomahawk attacking error, the Hatchets rallied off six straight points to take a 15-6 advantage.
Junior Natalie Zastrow had a pair of blocks in the middle of the first set over Rhinelander’s shorter front row. Mork would break the rally with another outside kill but Tomahawk went on an 8-1 run including three straight aces from Zastrow and four straight attacking errors would give the Hatchets set point and Tomahawk junior Mady Hanse closed the set with an outside kill.
The Hodags came out flat in the second set and the Hatchets took advantage and scored the first seven points before sophomore Kahlie Arneson had a middle kill to put RHS on the board. But that would be short-lived as Tomahawk answered with an 11-1 run which included four kills from Hanse and several RHS attacking errors. And senior Taylor Shilts closed the second set with an ace and gave the Hatchets a 2-0 advantage in the match.
The third set proved to be the most competitive of the night where Rhinelander held their own and stayed within reach but Tomahawk would pull away at the end to win 25-17 and sweep the match. Hanse led the hatchets early on with a pair of aces and two outside kills to put Tomahawk up 10-3.
Rhinelander clawed their way back with an ace from Mork, middle kill from junior Novalee Juel, and middle tip kill from Arneson. A Tomahawk attacking error would bring RHS within one point at 11-12 but that would be the closest they would come.
Along with Mork's six kills she added four digs. Arneson finished with three kills and junior setter Aryssa Zasada charted eight assists and two aces. Sophomore Hannah Worachek and freshman Carly Schmidt each added six digs.
The Hodags will be back in action on Saturday when they compete in a non-conference invitational a Wausau West. Rhinelander will begin WIAA playoffs Thursday. RHS received the eighth seed in their bracket and will face top-seed Merrill on the road. First-serve is set for 7:00PM.
The Rhinelander High School volleyball team travelled Tomahawk Saturday and would finish winless in the second leg of the Great Northern Conference tournament. The Hodags had arguably the toughest draw of the day and were swept by Antigo, Mosinee, and Medford all in three sets a the Hatchet Fieldhouse.
Rhinelander faced the top three teams of the conference and the Robins, Indians, and Raiders all showed why there on top of the GNC. RHS was also without two of their starters; senior Mikayla Evenstad and junior Brylee Ridderbusch and had to bring up a few JV players to fill the roster. It was also noted Evenstad will be out for the season due to a knee injury.
In all three matches, Rhinelander would get a slow start, but would battle back and improve to the third set. In their opening contest Antigo won 25-6, 25-3, 25-17 over RHS. Mosinee swept the Hodags 25-4, 25-11, 25-16 and Medford cruised to a 25-10, 25-9, 25-16 win. RHS now dropped 30 straight matches this season and remain without a conference win.
The Indians started off on a 14-1 run in the first set before senior Brooke more broke the rally with an outside kill. But that Hodags offense could not get enough going and Mosinee would rallied of seven straight points to end the first set 25-4.
Rhinelander climbed their way back in set two after being down 1-8 early on. With the aid of three straight Indian attacking errors, the Hodags go within three at 6-9. They would stick around in the middle of the set but again Mosinee pulled away and again finished the set with seven straight points and took a 2-0 lead in the series.
The most competitive set in their second match was the third and final set. RHS raced out to a 4-1 advantage after a Indian serving error and attacking error as well as a middle kill from sophomore Kahlie Arneson. A series of aces and errors kept both teams close in the middle of the set. But Mosinee closed out the set on a 9-2 run to win the match.
The Hodags offense was led by senior Brooke Mork who finished with 10 kills on the day. Freshman Carly Schmidt would take over the libero position of Evenstad and would record 26 digs.
Setter Aryssa Zasada finished with 20 assists and Hannah Worachek added four aces on the day and had seven digs just in the second match. Rhinelander also brought up Brynn Brzycki, Emily Jorgensen, and Ariel Pauer. Brzycki finished with two kills and one block all in the second match and Pauer also charted three kills.
Rhinelander will host Tomahawk on Tuesday and will be there final home match of the season. It will also be there '"Pink Out" game to support breast cancer awareness as well as senior night. The Hodags will have their final non-conference tuneup on Saturday and will take part in an invite at Wausau West before they open playoffs next Thursday.
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