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.