RHS drops to 6-1 in conference
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
The results weren’t the same as five days earlier when the Rhinelander High School girls tennis team once again competed in a dual meet against Great Northern Conference rival Antigo.
The Hodags, who had the upper hand at home Thursday with a 4-3 meet victory, ended up losing 5-2 Tuesday when the Red Robins hosted the meet.
“I give a lot of credit to Antigo,” said RHS head coach Bob Heideman. “They came out with some belief and fire. They changed their lineup and they dug up two more wins than last Thursday.”
The Hodags recorded their two match victories in singles play with Alex Oestreich (No. 2) defeating Eliie Kelly in three sets, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, and Emma Roberts (No. 3) sweeping Adie Smith, 6-0, 6-0.
“Alex has made it a habit to be the last one to finish in the dark and she did it again (Tuesday) night,” Heideman said. “Three things stood out in her match. She is getting more consistent depth on her shots, she is getting to more shots and her points are consistently lasting longer. All of those improvements have something to do with the late finishes.
“At the other end of the spectrum, Emma Roberts’ match was the first one done and got the match off to a good start. She could get back one more ball per point from beginning to end of her match.”
The closest the Hodags got to winning a doubles match Tuesday was the No. 1 pair of Livi Roberts and Haley Seefeldt losing in three sets to Antigo’s Abby Robrecht and Taylor Arrowrood, 4-6, 7-6, 2-6.
“At No. 1 doubles, the scores were encouraging,” Heideman said. “After a two-set loss in the first match (Thursday), they were able to extend it to three sets. They continue to eliminate a couple errors per match which helps them take advantage of when their opponents have an off game and they play through their mistakes they do make, they don’t let them drag them down.”
The Red Robins won the other four matches in straight sets with Maya Gaedtke defeating Belinda Weddle in No. 1 singles, 6-2, 6-1; Avery Nickelson besting Kenedy Van Zile in No. 4 singles, 6-2, 6-4; Pia Spychalla and Sydney Lenzner downing Lisa White and Madi Losch in No. 2 doubles, 6-2, 6-4; and Jenna Lenzner and Samantha Belling taking the No. 3 doubles match over Savannah Chartier and Jackie Wells, 6-4, 7-5.
RHS, which lost a dual meet for the first time this season in conference play, now has a record of 6-1 in the GNC and 12-6 overall going into Thursday’s conference meet at Medford. With Antigo at 5-1 in the conference, the Hodags currently lead the Red Robins for first place in the GNC by 10 points, based on the number of league matches won with each match victory in a dual meet counting two points.
“It will be an uphill battle to take conference from here,” Heideman said. “There’s not much room for error. How the team reacts to the loss will be crucial to our chances.”