Rhinelander’s Logan Oestreich hits a return at No. 1 doubles during a Great Northern Conference boys’ tennis match at Medford High School Tuesday, April 9. Oestreich and doubles partner Connor Young defeated Medford’s Riley Kleist and Luis Silva, 6-0, 6-2. The Hodags swept all three doubles matches in a 5-2 victory over the Raiders. (Brian Wilson/Star News)
4/11/2019 7:31:00 AM Doubles sweep carries Hodags netters past Medford
The Rhinelander High School boys' tennis team has quickly established itself as the team to beat yet again in the Great Northern Conference.
The Hodags cruised to three straight-set wins in doubles, and spilt the singles matches, as it earned a 5-2 victory Tuesday at Medford.
Rhinelander is now 2-0 in the GNC, knocking off the two teams that tied for second in the GNC last year - Pacelli and Medford - in succession.
"We started the match with the quick doubles matches which was good but the singles were a different story," coach Bob Heideman said. "All four were hard-fought, lengthy affairs."
Three of the four singles matches went to three sets, with Medford winning two of them. The lone three-setter to go Rhinelander's way was in the fourth flight where Ian Conkey rallied to defeat Logan Searles 4-6, 6-4, 6-0.
"Ian came back after losing the first set. He stuck at it," Heideman said. "Just kept getting balls back. After he won the second set, the momentum changed dramatically."
Russell Benoy dropped a three-setter at No. 2 singles, falling to Carson Kleist, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. It was a similar story in the third flight for senior Freddy Wisner, who fell to Sterling Reilly 6-2, 4-6, 7-5. Jacob Weddle secured the other singles victory for the Hodags, defeating Charlie Branstetter in straight set at No. 1, 6-3, 6-4.
Rhinelander won the three doubles matches with relative ease. Connor Young and Logan Oestreich were 6-0, 6-2 winners over Riley Kleist and Luis Silva in the first flight, Luke Ring and Elijah Evers down Tahtankka Damm and Ethan Kraemer 6-3, 6-3 in the second flight, and Bridger Flory and Billy Berwig took care of Cooper Wild and Quinton Tlusty 6-0, 6-2 in the third flight.
"Billy and Bridger returned service very well. That kept Medford on defense," Heideman said. "Luke and Elijah played a step better, few mistakes. Connor and Logan were steady from beginning to end. There was only one stretch where a couple mistakes cost them a game."
Rhinelander is now 2-0 in the GNC and has built a quick 10-point lead in the standings over both Lakeland and Pacelli. Lakeland opened conference play with a 5-2 win at Wausau Newman Thursday afternoon while Pacelli lost to Antigo, 4-3.
The Hodags were slated to travel to Antigo this afternoon, but the match was postponed Wednesday with a wintry forecast for today.
The Hodags are slated to play their first home matches of the season next Tuesday in a triangular against Ashland and Wausau Newman.
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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