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."