High School Notebook, Nov. 6: Top tennis players focusing on state singles finals

ccox@islandpacket.comNovember 6, 2012 

Brooke Busby is gearing up for a second ring as many weeks.

Fresh off her third Class 3-A state championship last Saturday with the Hilton Head Island High tennis team, Busby will return to Columbia this weekend for the State Singles Championship, where she finished near the top a season ago.

"Last year I placed fourth there which is good because it's all divisions," she said after guiding the Seahawks to a sixth consecutive state title, this time over A.C. Flora. "You play 4-A (competition), and that's who I lost to. The 1-2-3 (finishers) were all from 4-A, so I did the best in 3-A which is really exciting.

"Hopefully I can do that again."

The senior from Hilton Head High will be joined at the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center by a pair of other area tennis standouts in Beaufort High's Charlotte Bellomy and Bluffton eighth-grader Catie Meighan. Belomy, like Busby, was an automatic pick as the best player in her region while Meighan earned an at-large berth based on credentials, recommendations and record.

Thirty-two players in all will compete this weekend. The top eight in the main draw and the top four from the consolation draw will be named all-state players.

Busby and Bellomy will join up once again in Greenville later this month at the North-South All-Star match, where they will be led by Bellomy's Beaufort High coach, David Riedmayer. The Eagles' head man was earlier selected as the coach of the South team.

Brunori earns SCISAA all-state volleyball honors

Jill Brunori was expected to become an instant impact for Hilton Head Prep's basketball team after she transferred back to the school from New Jersey.

Little did anyone know her effect on the Dolphins would reach to other sports, too.

Brunori was named to this season's SCISAA all-state volleyball team after leading the Dolphins to a deep playoff run. Throw in the fact that the transfer was playing the sport for the first time this year and the selection becomes that much more impressive.

"It's her first year playing," Hilton Head Prep coach Steve Graham said. "She'd never played volleyball. We worked on teaching her to transition her basketball skills to volleyball, and she caught up really quickly."

"She jumps really high, really high," Graham added. "We call her our secret weapon. Once she started to get a feel for things, which didn't take long, we actually adjusted our game to take her into account."

Battery Creek's Tina Kwok also registered some postseason accolades, as the Dolphins standout was named to Class 1-A/2-A South All Star Team that will compete in the North-South Volleyball games to be played Nov. 17 at Erskine College. She'll be joined there byJamie Whalen of Whale Branch Early College High School and Bluffton's Abby Roulston, who was named to the Class 3-A/4-A team.

Franklin tabbed as Region 8-AAAA Player of the Year

Bluffton's first season in Class 4-A may not have ended with a state volleyball championship, but the Bobcats still managed to take home some coveted hardware.

Junior standout Jordan Franklin earned the Region 8-AAAA Player of the Year award after she helped lead the Bobcats to the league title and a second-round playoff matchup, where they were edged in five sets by Lexington.

The title is another in what is becoming a long list for Franklin. Last month, she was named to the 2012 S.C. Coaches Associate for Women's Sports Class 4-A All-State Team alongside teammate Mackenzie Cooler.

Franklin was pivotal in the Bobcats' first Class 4-A playoff win over West Florence when she tallied eight kills and 16 assists. She was at her best against Lexington when she had 16 kills, 27 assists and was 17 for 17 serving.

Beaufort Academy tallies 14 All-State, All-Region players

Backed by a strong fall season, Beaufort Academy saw 14 student-athletes earn postseason accoladates this year, headlined by six all-state swimmers.

Madeleine Gray, Laura Roddey, Ashley Tayler, Preston Suber, Finn Koppernaes and Charles Sanford were all named to the team for their efforts in the pool.

Three tennis standouts also earned honors with Hope Keane taking home the Region Player of the Year award. Mary Catherine Carmody and Natalie Simkins were also named all-region while coach Larry Scheper was dubbed the Region Co-Coach of the Year.

Despite enduring a difficult season in football, OL/DL Bryan Strawn and RB/LB Reyn Robinson earned all-region accolades while OL/DL Gavin Palmer was honorable mention.

Charlotte Delfosse and Megan DeBardelaben rounded out the list of winners with all-region tennis honors.

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