Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Hodags rally back to claim conference volleyball openerSubmitted: 09/11/2013
Hodags rally back to claim conference volleyball opener
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander High School volleyball team did something unprecedented for their program last year: win a conference championship.

Their quest to repeat in the Great Northern Conference got off to a good start Tuesday night at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium, as the Hodags defeated Lakeland in four games.

Three players had double-digit kills for Rhinelander. The Hodags were forced to rally back from a game one defeat to take the 18-25, 25-15, 25-21, 27-25 victory.

The Thunderbirds used a string of nine straight points to pull ahead and put away the opening game.

"We started out really slow, really tight, being our first game at home, especially some of the younger players. It took us a little too long to get into it and we gave away game one," said Rhinelander coach Paul Mildebrandt after the match.

But then the Hodags got going. Rhinelander eased into an offensive and defensive comfort zone to win game two and reverse the momentum.

"We started reading some of their transitions and their weapons a little bit better," Mildebrandt said.

Rhinelander also used some well-placed serves to their advantage. For the match, the Hodags tallied 14 service aces.

The home team ripped off nine points in a row in game three to take a commanding lead, but the Thunderbirds clawed back to tie it at 21-21. Then, Rhinelander flipped the momentum once again, putting away the final four points.

That surge carried over to game four, when the Hodags won the first five points. But Lakeland mounted another comeback, and claimed a 18-16 lead late in the game. After working their way back to a 22-22 tie, Rhinelander squandered two opportunities to end the match before finally putting Lakeland away.

Brianna Gilbert led the Hodags with 16 kills. Returning first-team all-conference selection Katie Berrell added 14, and Riley Aschenbrenner chipped in with ten.

Before the match, RHS athletic director Brian Paulson welcomed back longtime Hodags coach Kathy Wawrzynowicz in a special ceremony. Wawrzynowicz had been tending to an emotional family illness and death, but has made her way back into the program on a limited basis.

"This summer has been really hard on her. But being part of this volleyball program is part of her healing process," Mildebrandt said.

The Hodags next travel to Beaver Dam for a Saturday invitational. They return to Great Northern Conference action next Tuesday, visiting Northland Pines.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Every four years, winter sports gain popularity during the Olympics. For two weeks, athletes show the world what they can do. The skaters from the Lakeland Figure Skating Club aren't in the Olympics, but they've spent months perfecting their routines for a showcase this weekend. 

Ice skating has been a lifelong passion for Raven Carufel. 

"I originally saw the Disney movie Ice Princess and my parents got me a pair of skates for Christmas and it's been history since then," said 16-year-old Carufel. 

Now, she skates at the Lakeland Hawks Ice Arena to improving her skills and move up levels. Advancing is a big part of the sport. But skating also serves as a stress reliever. 

"I feel so confident when I'm on the ice it's kind of a release for everything in life," said Carufel. 

Carufel and the other skaters are preparing for the Lakeland Figure Skating Club's Ice Show this weekend.
Skaters of all ages and skills levels show off their routines.

"This is the only show I do out of the year, otherwise its mostly training for competing," said 17-year-old Lainie Kuckkahn. 

Lakeland Ice Arena is home for Kuckkahn. She also travels all over the state and country to compete.
"Right now my goal is to pass all my free skates and also continue competing and hopefully get a few higher scores," said Kuckkahn. 

These skaters spend weeks, months, and even years practicing. But every four years, their sport comes into the spotlight in the Olympics. They get to watch some of their favorite skaters perform. 

"My favorite skater is Evgenia from Russia," said Carufel. 

"I've always really liked Mirai Nagasu, so I was really happy when she landed her triple axel this year in competition."

Watching their favorite athletes on TV gives young skaters some extra motivation to keep getting better.
"Just seeing that strength they have kind of inspires me to strengthen my own skating," said Carufel. 

"It makes me feel good because sometimes I want to be in the Olympics. I kind of imagine me and my group being in the Olympics having just fun," said eight-year-old Addison Nelson. 

The shows will be held on Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Lakeland Hawks Ice Arena in Minocqua. 

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - Merrill went without a homeless shelter for the last two winters. 

Now, construction is finally about to begin on a new one. 

The building was donated to the Merrill Community Homeless Center board in October.

Board Secretary Dee Olsen says Merrill has had 30 adults and five families suffering from homelessness in the last five months.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHIENLANDER - Police think a Rhinelander woman tried to hire a hitman to kill her husband. During Megan Danielczak's preliminary hearing on Friday, a detective explained in more detail what led up to Danielczak's arrest.

Rhinelander Police Detective Sergeant Kyle Parish said Danielczak told police she "went through with it" because she was scared of the hitman.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - The near freezing temperatures will help snowmobile racers compete at the 2nd Annual Winter Hatchet Nationals Ice Oval Snowmobile Race at the Tomahawk Speedway.

Last year during the race, temperatures reached far above freezing causing track co-owner Andrew Bartelt to plan ahead.

"I actually covered this entire speedway with tents and stuff like that to block the UV rays. This year we were preemptive and we put a UV blocker in the water which came along with blue coloring so it looks pretty," said Bartelt.

+ Read More

Play Video

SHAWANO COUNTY - Thursday marked a big victory for a group of people wanting to keep a sex offender out of their Forest County neighborhood. A Shawano County Judge ruled in favor of continuing an order that stops Jeffrey LeVasseur from moving to Blackwell.

The hearing itself lasted about seven and a half hours on Thursday. But to the Blackwell residents in the civil case, the lengthy trial was worth the outcome.

+ Read More

PARK FALLS - The thousands of lakes in the Northwoods make it a popular place for seaplane pilots.

But there's no place set aside to park, repair, or refuel the planes in the area.

Park Falls plans to become that Northwoods hub this year.

Mike Drover, who runs Phillips-based Long Lake Aviation, and Park Falls leaders plan build a seaplane base where the Park Falls Municipal Airport meets the Flambeau River.

+ Read More

WAUSAU - Police spent hours trying to get a man with a gun out of a Wausau home Friday morning. 

According to a press release, Wausau Police went to a home on the 100 block of Maple Street looking for Bennie Green, 35. Green was a suspect in a gun fire investigation from Wednesday night. Police think Green fired a gun near North Third Ave and Norton Street that night. No one was hurt in that situation.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here