Rhinelander’s Cynthia Beavers hits an attack during a non-conference match against Crandon at Three Lakes High School Thursday, Sept. 19. Beavers, making her first start of the season for the Hodags, recorded a team-high 10 kills to go along with 19 digs. (Bob Mainhardt for the River News)
9/21/2019 7:32:00 AM Beavers stands out in debut, but Hodag spikers drop two in Three Lakes
The Rhinelander High School volleyball team got a shot in the arm Thursday, but it was not quite enough to get the Hodags back in the win column.
Senior Cynthia Beavers made her debut in a Hodag uniform and recorded a team-high 10 kills, but it was not enough to put Rhinelander over the top in straight-set losses to Crandon and Gillett in a non-conference invite at Three Lakes High School.
Beavers, an all-Northern Lakes Conference player in Three Lakes last year, transferred to Rhinelander last winter but had been unavailable to play in Rhinelander's first 14 matches of the season. She also led the team in total attacks (31) Thursday and was second on the team with 19 digs.
"She's just an experienced volleyball player and she isn't afraid to put it out on the court," coach Brianna Scheuermann said of what Beavers' addition means to the team. "She's digging balls and hustling in the back row. We got a lot more digs that we have been lately. In the front row, she's able to find ways to creatively put the ball in play and cover everyone else. I think with her being a more experience volleyball player and having her back, it just kind of helps the whole atmosphere of the team."
Against Crandon, the Hodags were unable to hold on to a first-set lead and fell to the Cardinals 25-23, 25-18.
"We were doing pretty good. We were actually up by seven or eight points (in the first set) and then we got into a serve receive that wasn't maybe the strongest and they caught back up," Scheuermann said. "But we battled that one through. We lost it, but it was a closer game than what we have been doing lately.
"The second set wasn't as close but, just looking at the stats from that game, the attack attempts are 70 and our kills are only 13. I think, for us right now having Cynthia back, we just need to find more ways to put the ball down. I think that will make our games a little close and end up helping us take some sets."
The Hodags dropped the second match against Gillett 25-14, 25-8, though Scheuermann said she used that match to rest a couple of players ahead of today's Great Northern Conference tournament in Antigo. Notably one of Rhinelander's top attackers, sophomore Ariel Pauer, did not record any stats in the Gillett match.
"I put in a few people that don't normally play against Gillett just because a lot of my girls are sick or getting over a sickness," Scheuermann said. "I was just giving a couple of my main starters a break so that I'll have them on Saturday hopefully at full health. You could tell things just didn't blend very well, but still we had 52 attack attempts and only eight kills. I think with working on putting the ball away I think we'll have a much great chance (moving forward)."
Aryssa Zasada recorded 17 assists and had a pair of service aces for Rhinelander, Hannah Worachek had a team-high 29 digs and the Hodags got four kills each from Pauer and Kahlie Arneson.
Rhinelander (1-15, 0-3 Great Northern) will play Northland Pines and Lakeland at today's GNC tournament.
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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