8/22/2014 3:40:00 PM
|Rhinelander’s Belinda Weddel prepares to return a shot during a No. 4 singles match Thursday at Medford High School. Weddel earned a straight set victory as the Hodags swept the Raiders in a Great Northern Conference dual meet. (Matt Frey/Star News)|
Hodag netters sweep Medford, improve to 2-0 in GNC play
Two dual meets into the 2014 season, the Rhinelander High School girls' tennis team has not been challenged.
The Hodags dispatched Lakeland Tuesday to start their quest for a fifth straight Great Northern Conference title. Two days later, the Rhinelander netters crushed Medford 7-0.
On the singles side, Rhinelander's No. 1 player Eileen Emond downed Medford's Shantel Faude 6-1, 6-2. No. 2 Ivy Packard blanked Beth Marshall 6-0, 6-0. Kristina Jacobson, Rhinelander's No. 3 player, overwhelmed Chelsea Rausch 6-0, 6-1, and No. 4 player Belinda Weddle outplayed Sydney Emmerich 6-4, 6-4.
Head coach Bob Heideman said he saw a lot of strong play from Jacobson, which bodes well moving forward.
"Kristina played a steady match, reinforced by some strong serving," he said. "She was consistently in position to hit the ball, and as a result, she kept the ball in play."
While each of the Hodags played well, Heideman said he saw some encouraging qualities from some of his players. It was clear to him that this year's team simply refuses to let up, especially Weddle.
"Belinda came back from down 1-4 in the first set," he said. "I'm learning she is a slow starter but a really strong finisher."
Heideman said he was equally impressed with his doubles pairings, and for good reason.
No. 1 duo Eva O'Melia and Erin Tenderholt outlasted Cierra Danen and Marissa Friedel 6-3, 6-4.
Heideman said it was another great example of focus and grit.
"Eva and Erin also came back from 0-3 in the second set to win 6-4," he said. "They played point by point which helped them focus."
The No. 2 pair, Tessa Bloch and Maddie Barnes, dominated Rylee Anderson and Carly Rhyner 6-2, 6-1, while the No. 3 duo of Bri DeNamur and Ali Schickert overcame Katie Doucette and Keysha Firnstahl.
DeNamur was another player who stood out to Heideman. He said he liked the way she stayed on the attack.
"Bri DeNamur's net game was very aggressive," he said. "She ended a lot of points with well played volleys."
Rhinelander has lost only one match out of its first 14, spanning both the Lakeland and Medford Duals. It's still early, but so far, the Hodags have made a resounding statement regarding their intentions. Until further notice, the path to a GNC title still goes through Rhinelander.
The Hodags hosted a home invitational against Merrill, Ashland and Ironwood, Mich., Friday morning that concluded after deadline. Rhinelander returns to GNC play Tuesday when it hosts Phillips.
Andy Hildebrand may be reached at email@example.com.
Rhinelander at Medford — Thursday, Aug. 21
Rhinelander 7, Medford 0
Singles: 1, Eileen Emond (Rhi) def. Shantel Faude, 6-1, 6-2. 2, Ivy Packard (Rhi), def. Beth Marshall, 6-0, 6-0. 3, Kristina Jacobson (Rhi) def. Chelsea Rausch, 6-0, 6-1. 4, Belinda Weddle (Rhi) def. Sydney Emmerich, 6-4, 6-4.
Doubles: 1, Erin Tenderholt/Eva O'Melia (Rhi) def. Cierra Danen/Marissa Freidel, 6-3, 6-4. 2, Tessa Bloch/Maddie Barnes (Rhi) def. Rylee Anderson/Carly Rhyner, 6-2, 6-1. 3, Brianna DeNamur/Ali Schickert (Rhi) def. Katie Dovcette/Kaysha Firnstahl, 6-2, 6-3.
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