Rhinelander’s Hannah Worachek (25) and Ariel Pauer go after a ball during the first set of a Great Northern Conference volleyball match against the Tomahawk Hatchets at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium Thursday, Sept. 5. (Bob Mainhardt for the River News)
9/7/2019 7:32:00 AM RHS volleyball swept by Tomahawk in conference opener
The Rhinelander High School volleyball team was unable to carry the momentum of its first win of the season into Thursday night's Great Northern Conference opener against Tomahawk.
Tomahawk controlled much of the match and swept Rhinelander in three sets, 25-15, 25-9, 25-15 at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium.
"We knew they were going to be tough," Rhinelander coach Brianna Scheuermann said. "It's still very early in the season and we're still trying to figure out who works better with whom on the court and we're really trying to find a rotation."
Rhinelander trailed 14-12 in the first before Tomahawk went on an 11-3 run to close out the set. The Hodags could not get going in the second set. The third set more closely resembled the first, but Tomahawk was again able to pull away late to claim the match.
"They came out and competed well against them in the first game and the third game," Scheuermann said. "There's that and it's something to bring to the next game against Tomahawk."
Tomahawk possessed both speed and height, a difficult combination for the Hodags to handle.
"Our transitioning, we were just a little bit slow and Tomahawk's a fast-paced team," Scheuermann said. "They were doing flicks in the middle the entire game. They never quit. Our girls, we just need to get to that point and I think they will later on in the season."
Rhinelander also had a setback in the second set when setter Olivia TerBeest left with an injury and did not return to the match. She had recorded eight assists up to that point. Aryssa Zasada filled in the rest of the way and had three assists.
"It didn't help that during our second set one of our setters went out, so we had to get another girl that was fresh on the court. It took a little time to get it together," Scheuermann noted.
Ariel Pauer and Kahlie Arneson had three kills each for Rhinelander while Brylee Ridderbusch, Emily Jorgensen and Brynn Brzycki each recorded one kill. Libero Hannah Worachek had a team-high seven digs in the match.
"She's just our stellar back row person and I'm glad I decided to put her back there," Scheuermann said of Worachek. "She's a leader in that back row. I think she just has to get more confident and take every free ball she can get, and even call a ball, if the setter's off the net, to hit it because she can hit it from the back row. She's just got to get a little more confident and she will be stellar back there."
Pauer added five digs for Rhinelander while Jorgensen had a team-high two service aces. The Hodags, who finished last in the GNC a year ago in blocking did not record a block against the Hatchets.
Mady Hanse led Tomahawk with six kills in the match.
The loss dropped Rhinelander to 1-10 on the season.
"Our team is pretty young. We don't have a lot of varsity experience," Scheuermann said. "I think with having a young team, I think it's a little slower to get to that point but I know they can do it. They've just got to take one more step and I think they'll be able to compete."
The Hodags return to action Tuesday night at Medford. The Raiders needed five sets Thursday to fend off Northland Pines.
Freelancer Bob Mainhardt contributed to this report.
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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