High School Tennis

Hilton Head High pockets 6th tennis title in row

ccox@islandpacket.comNovember 4, 2012 

COLUMBIA -- Jennifer Oliver doesn't have much of a memory about the last time Hilton Head Island High didn't win the girls state tennis championship.

That's not surprising. After all, the Seahawks' No. 2 singles standout was in elementary school at the time.

"I don't even remember when I was in third grade," she said, referencing the last time the Seahawks were shut out of the state title crown. "It's pretty crazy that our team has been this strong in the past years and (is) still winning. It's really exciting."

Another season came and went with Hilton Head High left standing at the end. The Seahawks once again vaulted to the top of Class 3-A with a dominating 5-1 win over A.C. Flora Saturday afternoon at the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center.

The win gave Hilton Head High (18-2) an unheard of sixth consecutive title, with more seemingly on the horizon.

"Five (straight) seems like, 'Wow,' " second-year coach Jennifer Weitekamper said. "Six is over the top. I think it's over the top. I look down to next year and a few more years, I've got some young ones. This is going to be a pretty strong team."

All three Seahawks seniors ended their careers with victories, headlined by Brooke Busby at No. 1 singles, who earned a 6-0, 6-1 win over seventh-grader Shelby Prince. The 18-year-old, who will compete in next weekend's state singles championships, won all three of the state matches she competed in with the Seahawks.

"I'm proud to say that I've been able to be on a team that's just such a winning team and a great team," she said. "It's just been so much fun and I've had great friendships."

Logan Danzell, who took home her fifth state title, made the Seahawks' win official with a consistent and patient 6-1, 6-3 victory at No. 3 singles. With the outcome already decided, fellow senior Emma Stanton provided the exclamation point with a thrilling 3-6, 7-6, 7-5 (10-2) comeback at No. 5 singles.

"This feels so good," Danzell said. "It's just such a relief to know that every single year I played on this team a state title was won."

While Danzell won with patience, Oliver won with aggressiveness. The freshman put the attack on MaKayla Chandler and her signature backhand, ultimately pulling out a 6-3, 6-4 win. Kate Cram -- who got Hilton Head High on the board first -- helped the Seahawks sweep the singles matches with a 6-2, 6-1 victory at No. 4 singles.

The sophomore was the first one off the court for the second straight year at states.

"I wasn't expecting it at all either year," Cram said. "I was looking over at Brooke going, 'Oh, she's getting off the court first, she's good.' I saw she was still playing (when I finished) and was like, 'Whoa, two years in a row. We're starting something here.' "

A.C. Flora's lone win came in No. 2 doubles, where the upset-minded Falcons (13-6) netted a 6-3, 6-2 victory.

"There's a reason why they've won six straight titles," A.C. Flora coach Amy Martin said. "They have awesome tennis players. The pressure was truly on them, I think. We came in here and did the best we could do."

Busby said it was Cram who was the mastermind behind the Seahawks' "6-love" slogan this year, as Hilton Head High went gunning for a sixth straight title.

How the rising junior comes up with a motto using the number seven may prove a bit more challenging, though.

"It's really exciting," Busby said. "You don't really believe it until it actually happens. I can't really think about it right now."

Hilton Head High 5, A.C. Flora 1

Singles -- No. 1: Brooke Busby (HHH) d. Shelby Prince 6-0, 6-1; No. 2: Jennifer Oliver (HHH) d. MaKayla Chandler 6-3, 6-4; No. 3: Logan Danzell (HHH) d. Emily Sandlin 6-1, 6-3; No. 4: Kate Cram (HHH) d. Maia Blackmon 6-2, 6-1; No. 5: Emma Stanton (HHH) d. Ginny Walker 3-6, 7-6, 7-5 (10-2).

Doubles -- No. 2: Regan Tapp/Esme Bajo (AC) d. Sarah Wood/Nicole Diaz 6-3, 6-2.

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service