- The Hodag volleyball team opened conference play with a victory Tuesday night over Lakeland.
But that wasn't the story.
Rhinelander saw the return of their long-time head coach Kathy Wawrzynowicz.
Kathy stepped down shortly before the season. Kathy's husband Henry was suffering from a form of cancer. He lost his battle last month.
She returned last week. She'll be an assistant with the team.
Tuesday night, she attended her first home match of the year. Before the match, the school presented her with a continuous service award.
Kathy is still grieving. But the match was a step in the healing process.
"It was very emotional, and hard - I have to admit that," a teary Wawrzynowicz explains. "But I felt the Hodag community and the girls really care about me."
"It was great to have her with us," junior Riley Aschenbrenner adds. "She's just been so awesome and we're glad to have her back with us now."
"(Kathy) has expressed to me she didn't want to step on my toes," interim coach Paul Mildebrandt says. "I told her my toes are plenty big enough - I don't have to worry about it a lot."
Written By: Joe Dufek