Hilton Head Island High tops Beaufort High as part of early work toward tennis title No. 7

sfastenau@beaufortgazette.comSeptember 10, 2013 

The Hilton Head Island High School girls tennis team is reminded of seven on its team T-shirts and seemingly any time someone talks about the Seahawks' season.

Seahawks coach Jennifer Weitekamper wants her players to have fun with the quest for a seventh consecutive state championship but is quick to keep them humble.

"Everybody keeps reminding us we've been six-time state champions, but what everybody really needs to understand is it's a new set of girls living up to what has occurred and what has happened," Weitekamper said. "So they have to earn it just as well."

The Seahawks have spent the first week striking the right mix with their young group. They won 5-1 at Beaufort High School on Monday, improving to 2-1 after having lost to Hilton Head Prep and beaten rival Bluffton High School during the first week of the season.

Beaufort High opened its season Monday also hoping to protect a streak. The Eagles have won seven consecutive region titles but face one of their bigger challenges this season.

Coach David Riedmayer replaced his top four players, three to graduation and one to a move.

Near the Beaufort High tennis courts, Riedmayer posted an article from a Bluffton newspaper previewing the season of Region 8-AAAA rival Bluffton and its hope to dethrone the Eagles. A little motivation for what the coach expects will be a close fight among Beaufort High, Bluffton and Ashley Ridge.

He didn't mind the outcome Monday.

"We knew going in it was going to be tough," Riedmayer said. "We're in a situation where we're kind of rebuilding and getting the mental toughness going, and it's working."

"I think all the girls hustled a lot, worked hard."

The Eagles' No. 2 doubles team of Lexi Aulabaugh and Elise Marshall earned the lone win for Beaufort High in the only match that went more than two sets.

Aulabaugh and Marshall said they were proud of the way they responded after dropping a close first set. The pair was playing its second match as a doubles team.

"I think we played really well together," Aulabaugh said.

The doubles combination has been experiment for Weitekamper and the Seahawks through three matches.

Hilton Head High's doubles team from a season ago moved into the third and fourth singles spots. Kate Cram moved from No. 5 to No. 2 and Jenn Oliver has taken over the top spot.

"We keep shifting around that doubles team, because we want to find that perfect match," Weitekamper said. "What's nice is this year they're all getting along."

Hilton Head High 5, Beaufort High 1

Singles -- No. 1 Jenn Oliver (HHH) def. Zoe Brais 6-2, 6-2; No. 2 Kate Cram (HHH) def. Katie Newell 6-2, 6-0; No. 3 Sarah Wood (HHH) def. Austin Stoddard 7-5, 6-2; No. 4 Holly Kerr (HHH) def. Morgan Morrissey 6-0, 6-1; No. 5 Nicole Diaz (HHH) def. Anna Smith 7-5, 6-1.

Doubles -- No. 2 Lexi Aulabaugh/Elise Marshall (BFT) def. Henry Clare Cram/Hannah Brink 6-7 (5-7), 6-1, 10-5.

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