Despite not winning a match on Saturday in the the second leg of the Great Northern Conference meet, the Rhinelander High School volleyball team showed great promise and improvement. The Hodags also faced three conference teams in the top half of the GNC where they battled to winning a set and having several close sets on the day, but couldn’t string enough together to earn a match win.
Rhinelander took a while to warm up and would trop a three-set match to Medford to start the day off in round one. The Hodags play progressed throughout the match and they increased their number of points in each set. The Raiders swept RHS 25-9, 25-17, 25-20.
In the second round, RHS faced Antigo and would earn their only set win against them. Rhinelander battled in the first two sets of the match but would fall 25-16, 25-18 before they collected their win in the third set. The Hodags raced out to a 16-8 advantage but the Robins climbed their way back to tie the set at 21-21. It was back and forth down the stretch until senior Cynthia Beavers recorded a kill and the Robins had an attacking error which gave RHS a 26-24 victory. Rhinelander was strong to start the fourth set but quickly faded after an 8-0 run by Antigo and would fall 25-13.
Rhinelander also had a slow jump against Mosinee in the final round of the second GNC meet where they fell 25-9. RHS was also temporarily went to a 6-2 lineup with Beavers and Carly Schmidt setting after starting setter Olivia TerBeest was took out for a break after rolling her ankle early in the meet. TerBeest returned and RHS would have one of their closest sets in the second against the 2018 GNC champs.
In the second set, RHS pulled ahead 23-18 but was unable to fend off the Indians comeback. Mosinee went on a 7-1 run to take the lead 25-24 and eventually closed the set 28-26. The Indians with the momentum closed the match and took the third set 25-13.
Beavers led the way for Rhinelander and recorded 22 kills on the day and also had 16 digs and three aces. Freshman Ava Lamers recorded 12 kills and Ariel Pauer finished with 11 kills and six blocks. Kahlie Arneson chipped in nine kills and Emily Jorgensen added eight kills. TerBeest tallied 46 assists on the day and 17 digs and four aces. Junior libero Hannah Worachek recorded 37 digs and added four aces for RHS.
Rhinelander improved their play especially being more active on dicks and blocks but still are looking to improve and some key areas on their final stretch of the year. The Hodags are looking to improve on their communication as well as covering tips. RHS fell to 0-11 in the GNC and will close out their conference schedule on Tuesday on the road at Tomahawk. Rhinelander will than compete in an invite on Saturday at Wausau West.