The Rhinelander High School volleyball team hosted the first Great Northern Conference tournament on Saturday and went 0-2 on the day. The Hodags dropped a pair of matches on Lakeland and Northland Pines and remains without a conference win this season.
Rhinelander's first match of the day proved to be their most competitive but they still faded late and would fall to the Thunderbirds in four sets. Lakeland started strong with a 25-9 before the Hodags turned the tables and rallied back to tie the series with a 25-21 set win. But RHS could not keep that momentum going and dropped the final two sets in matching 25-14 score.
In the final two sets against Lakeland, Rhinelander quickly fell behind in each set, and never were able to catch up from there. The closest the Hodags would get would be early in the set at 10-6.
In the final round of the GNC tournament, Rhinelander faced Northland Pines but would have no answer for conference leader in kills, Jacqueline Smith. The Eagles would sweep the Hodags and three sets, which RHS only combined to score 32 points. Smith is first in the GNC with 36 kills, averaging nine per match.
Smith sparked Pines in the first set as they raced out to an early 16-4 advantage. They finished on a 12-4 run to seal the deal with a convincing 25-8 victory. RHS stuck with the Eagles early in the second set and were only down two points at 14-12. But Smith charted two straight kills to lead Pines on a 11-2 run and they would earn an 11-point win in the second set.
Not only was Pines efficient at the net, but they used strong serving in the third and final set to cruise to a 25-10 win to seal the match. Smith had seven straight serves in the final set to once again spark the Eagles.
Rhinelander's defense was without senior libero Mikayla Evenstad and utilized freshman Carly Schmidt in her position on the day. Schmidts finished with nine digs and was perfect at serving on the day at 14-of-14 and added three aces for the Hodags. Senior Brook Mork had the team high digs with 19.
Hannah Worachek led Rhinelander's offensive attack with seven kills while Mork would record six kills. Kahlie Arneson finished with five kills and two blocks.
The Hodags fell to 0-5 in the GNC standings and 1-25 overall. Rhinelander will host Mosinee in an early match at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium. The Indians lead the conference and are 5-0. First serve is set for 5:30PM.