RHS 4 points behind Antigo for 1st going into conference tourney
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
The Rhinelander High School girls tennis team closed out its Great Northern Conference dual meet schedule late last week with a pair of victories.
The Hodags swept Thursday’s home meet against Lakeland Union High School, 7-0.
“We took an important step with winning all seven flights,” said RHS head coach Bob Heideman. “It keeps us close to Antigo.”
The Hodags, who won all the matches in straight sets, ended up dropping three or fewer games for each set in four of the seven matches.
Emma Roberts swept her match in No. 3 singles over Alayna Twelmeyer, 6-0, 6-0. Kenedy Van Zile defeated Cierra Hayman in No. 4 singles, 6-0, 6-1. Madi Losch and Alexis Pyrchalla won their No. 2 doubles match over Catherine Trapp and Julie Neuberg, 6-3, 6-2. Jackie Wells and Lisa White were victorious in No. 3 doubles over Brie Nimsgern and Mariah Lear, 6-1, 6-3.
The No. 1 singles and doubles matches were the closest with Belinda Weddle defeating Riley Curtis, 6-2, 7-5, and the doubles pair of Haley Seefeldt and Livi Roberts winning against Hayley Fieck and Reilly Coon, 7-6, 6-2.
“Belinda was down 4-0 in the second set and came back to win 7-5,” Heideman said. “Riley played her best tennis at the beginning of the second set. Belinda weathered that and then started her comeback, once that happened it seemed that Riley tightened up a little.
“No. 1 doubles had the first set in hand at 5-2 when Lakeland mounted their comeback taking the lead at 5-6. Livi and Haley won the 12th game and went out to a big lead in the tiebreaker, which Lakeland launched a mini-comeback, but the Hodags closed it out 7-5.”
The No. 2 singles match featured Alex Oestreich winning over Morgan Ahrens, 6-4, 6-2.
HODAGS 6, MEDFORD 1
In a meet that was postponed a week earlier, RHS won Friday at Medford, 6-1, with the Hodags winning all four singles matches and two of the three doubles matches.
“Our doubles came through, which is exactly what we needed because Medford put its six best players in doubles,” Heideman said. “All of them had very close matches and we won two out of three.”
Seefeldt and Livi Roberts won their No. 1 doubles match in straight sets over Lauyn Strick and Karlee Batchelder, 7-5, 7-6. Pyrchalla and Losch went three sets before losing in No. 2 doubles to Mariah Leader and Mandi Baker, 6-7, 6-4, 6-7. And Savannah Chartier and Wells won in No. 3 doubles against Megan Payne and Elaine Schumacher, 6-4, 7-5.
“Livi and Haley came up with two timely spurts of good tennis at the end of each set,” Heideman said. “Livi is volleying better and Haley consistently hits sharp angles at the net.
“I was especially concerned about No. 3 doubles where they put the girls who had played No. 1 and No. 2 singles when they came to Rhinelander. Savannah and Jackie had an up and down match. Plenty of mistakes, but we seem to win the big points. We were up 5-2 in the second set and Medford got it back to 5-5, and like No. 1 doubles, (Chartier and Wells) put two good games together to close the match out. Jackie’s service return is coming around. Savannah’s overall shot selection is sound, which tells me she is on her way to understanding doubles.
“No. 2 doubles had as close a match as you can get. Three close sets. There was significant improvement by both Madi and Alexis, but what stuck out most was there was a spring in their step between points.”
Going into this Saturday GNC tournament at Antigo, both the Hodags and Red Robins have a dual meet record of 9-1. However, with Antigo having 62 of the 70 matches, compared to 60 of 70 for RHS, and each match victory counting two points, the Red Robins enter the conference tournament in first by four points, 124-120. Medford is third with 70 points, followed by Lakeland (28), Columbus Catholic (18) and Phillips (4).