TOMAHAWK - Forty-four minutes after it started, it was over.
Host Tomahawk demolished the Rhinelander High School volleyball team Tuesday night, winning in consecutive games, 25-12, 25-5, and 25-11.
"I told my girls after the game, that's what good teams do to teams that don't play as well as they do. We didn't play well tonight, and they treated us the way they should have," Hodags coach Paul Mildebrandt said.
The Hatchets remained perfect in Great Northern Conference play at 7-0. Not only have they won every match, they've won every game in league play so far.
Rhinelander dropped to 3-4 in GNC action.
"This is probably the worst we've hit all year. That has a lot to do with their block," Mildebrandt said.
Tomahawk excelled on the block, but also on the attack and serving as well. In fact, the Hatchets landed 20 aces to Rhinelander's one.
A full partisan fieldhouse also aided the Hatchets.
"They have a very difficult environment to play in," Mildebrandt said. "That crowd did help them out tonight. They were loud. They were rowdy."
Team captain Katie Berrell led the Hodags with six kills. Despite that, she had a frustrating night, with multiple mis-hits and several times where she encountered a strong Tomahawk front line.
"She started to force a little bit. They put up a strong block," Mildebrandt.
After Rhinelander won the first point of the match, the Hatchets reeled off seven straight points to take control of Game One. A string of three points midway through the game couldn't rally the Hodags.
After a complete 25-5 domination in Game Two, Tomahawk won the first seven points of Game Three. A meek three consecutive points by the Hodags couldn't drag Rhinelander back into the match.
The Hodags have a chance to get back to .500 in GNC play right away.
They welcome Antigo to Rhinelander on Thursday night.
"When we lose, I'm going to be grumpy until we get on the floor the next time. We need to play like Tomahawk did," Mildebrandt said.
First serve will be at 7pm. Hear play-by-play action live on HodagSports.com.
"I feel it's a team that we really should take care of if we play like need to, like a good team should," Mildebrandt predicted. "We should be able to take care of business on our home floor."
BOULDER JUNCTION - Pilots find very little room for error when they make a landing. Wings, flaps, and landing gear all need to work properly. Then there's the runway itself, which needs to be flat and smooth.
So, when pilots found ruts and divots torn into the grass runway at Boulder Junction's airport, folks were more than upset, they were worried about safe landings. Airfield president Jeff Long thinks someone used a pickup truck to do the damage. It happened right before the airfield's busiest weekend of the year, the Musky Day fly-in.
"To see somebody disregard that, disrespect that, and then again the safety, where somebody could get hurt that we're inviting up here for summer fun, doesn't make you feel very good," Long said.
RHINELANDER - The City of Rhinelander and Oneida County will consider borrowing $15 million to help develop a manufacturer in Rhinelander, according to an Oneida County Economic Development Corporation release Tuesday.
The money would help Rhinelander Coated Products start work inside the former Printpack building on Kemp Street.
MADISON - New state regulations designed to retain teachers are going into effect.
The package was published Tuesday. The provisions allow retired teachers or teachers nearing retirement to apply for a nonrenewable five-year license without submitting a professional development plan. They also increase the time that short-term substitute teachers can serve in the same assignment from 20 days to 45 days.
THREE LAKES - Pollinators play an essential role in the growth of plants, and it's not just bees that help pollinate.
Butterflies, bats, and even mosquitoes are pollinators, but those populations have been in decline in recent years.
"Across the U.S., pollinators have been seeing big declines," said Oneida County Conservationist Michele Sadauskas. "We've been hearing more and more about our honeybee pollinations. The monarch populations have had dramatic decreases. So we're seeing it across the board."
EAGLE RIVER - Cities across the Northwoods drop tens of thousands of dollars every winter on crack sealing roads. The Eagle River Airport is no different. The airport spent about $25,000 in 2016 patching up its main runway.
Arguably, that runway is even older than most roads people drive on. The runway was last redone in 1971. On a busy day, the 5,000-foot runway hosts upwards of 80 takeoffs and landings. Airport manager Rob Hom showed Newswatch 12 a number of places where the pavement is buckling and cracked. That can lead to dangerous landings for small planes.
"Relative to a car or a truck [a prop-powered airplane is] pretty light relatively speaking, so having a smooth runway is imperative," Hom said.
CRANDON - For some Northwoods families, it can be hard to find the money to pay for their kids' school supplies every year, but a back-to-school program in Forest County is giving children the supplies they need to succeed.
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