Rhinelander’s Ariel Pauer (7) and Cynthia Beavers (12) put up a double block against Mosinee’s Paige Wicklund during the Great Northern Conference volleyball tournament at Lakeland Union High School in Minocqua Saturday, Oct. 12. (Bob Mainhardt for the River News)
10/15/2019 7:31:00 AM Hodag volleyball shows fight in GNC tournament
MINOCQUA - The Rhinelander High School volleyball team did not win a match Saturday in the second leg of the Great Northern Conference volleyball tournament, but the squad proved to be more competitive against a trio teams in the upper echelon of the conference.
Rhinelander took a set from Antigo, and nearly stole a set from GNC-champion Mosinee, during the event at Lakeland Union High School in Minocqua. Rhinelander also suffered a three-set loss to Medford in the competition. The losses dropped Rhinelander to 0-11 in league play and assured the Hodags of a last-place finish in the GNC for the second straight year, but the fact that set scores were more competitive gave the team cause for optimism.
"We are getting more rallies. We're getting up and getting hits on them," coach Brianna Scheuermann said. "We're competing a little bit better with them. We just haven't found that one thing to help us take it all the way to win that set."
Down 0-2 to Antigo in the second match of the day, Rhinelander showed life to extend the match, jumping out to a 16-8 lead in the third set. Antigo chipped away to tie the set at 21. The teams traded points down the stretch before an Emma Jaje service error on Antigo's match point gave Rhinelander new life at 24-all. Cynthia Beavers recorded a kill on the next point and the Hodags took the set 26-24 when Antigo's Clair Aulik missed wide on an attack.
The final score of the Antigo match was 25-16, 25-18, 24-26, 25-13. Rhinelander was tied 12-all with Antigo in the first set, but the Robins went on a 9-0 run from there to take control. Antigo jumped out to a 11-5 lead in the second and never looked back. Down 8-6, Rhinelander gave up an 8-0 Antigo run in the fourth set that helped to put the match out of reach.
"Antigo, they had a lot of rallies. Sometimes we finished out and other times we couldn't," Scheuermann.
Rhinelander nearly beat Mosinee in a set later in the day, leading 23-18 in the second, but Mosinee responded with a 7-1 run to take a 25-24 lead and eventually win the set 28-26.
The Hodags started slow against the Indians, falling 25-9 with an altered lineup. Mosinee took the third set, 25-13.
"The first set against Mosinee, Olivia (TerBeest) was setting and she rolled her ankle earlier today against Medford and she needed a break. We went with a 6-2 with Carly (Schmidt) and Cynthia setting in the front row. They had never done it. When Olivia came back, we got back in a normal rotation and it set them back into their regular mood and they played a little bit harder."
The day started with a three-set loss to Medford 25-9, 25-17, 25-20.
"The first set was very slow, but then we got warmed up and we had closer sets with them. It took awhile for them to get it going this morning," Scheuermann noted.
Beavers led the team with 22 kills on the day and also chipped in 16 digs and three service aces. Rhinelander had several other players involved in the attack - freshman Ava Lamers had 12 kills, Ariel Pauer had 11, Kahlie Arneson had nine kills and Emily Jorgensen had eight.
"Kahlie was hitting middle today and she was able to put some down," Scheuermann said. "She hasn't been in the middle that much since last year. She was getting back to where she normally hits. Emily had a few kills. She's been out for a little bit with a thumb injury, but she was hitting quite a bit and hitting good."
TerBeest finished with 46 assists and 17 digs to go along with four service aces. Pauer added six blocks and libero Hannah Worachek had 37 digs and four service aces.
Scheuermann noted the team's digging and blocking numbers have improved, but she said she sees another area where the team's defense can improve.
"I think the only thing that is killing them is tips," she said. "They're so far back, ready for the hits, they're not ready for the tips. I think just getting that and reading the other team's arm, they'll be able to get that."
Rhinelander will close out conference play at Tomahawk this evening and will travel to Wausau West for a six-team tournament this coming Saturday.
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at email@example.com.
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