Myrtle Beach ends Hilton Head Island's run of 3-A girls tennis titles at 6

sports@islandpacket.comNovember 5, 2013 

There won't be a seventh straight Class 3-A girls tennis championship for Hilton Head Island High School.

The Seahawks fell on the road 5-1 Monday at Myrtle Beach in the third round of the playoffs.

"It's been a great season," Seahawks coach Jennifer Weitekamper said. "There are no complaints."

Hilton Head Island, the Region 8-AAA champion, finishes the season 16-5. Myrtle Beach improves to 22-1 and will host the Wilson-Berkeley winner in the Lower State final on Wednesday. The winner will go on to play for the 3-A championship.

It was a fulfilling win for Myrtle Beach coach Jeri Himmelsbach, who said she believes that the Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head areas produce some of the best players in the state.

"Two of the best teams in the state tennis-wise in my opinion," she said. "Hilton Head is a great team, past state champions. Our two areas are strong tennis areas in the state and breed a lot of good tennis.

"We're both strong," Weiterkamper said. "Myrtle Beach had their game on today. If we were going to lose to anyone, it was going to be Myrtle Beach. They outplayed us today, but the girls played strong."

While the Seahawks' six-year reign ended, it's likely a longer trend will continue.

From 1988 to 2012, a span of 25 seasons, there have been just three seasons -- Riverside in 1999, Clover in 2003 and J.L. Mann in 2006 -- when either Hilton Head or Myrtle Beach has not won the 3-A championship.

Hilton Head Island won a total of nine titles in 1988, 1989, 1996 and then the past six seasons. Myrtle Beach won 13 championships from 1990 to 1995, 1997 to 1998, 2000 to 2002 and 2004 to 2005.

"When you've got teams this strong of teams at the lower end, this should have been for the state title, in my opinion," Weitekamper said.

Despite the loss, Weiterkamper is confident Hilton Head Island will be successful again next season.

"We're still strong because we don't really lose anybody," Weiterkamper said. "Hannah Brink graduates, but we're not out of this. "It might just swap again next year."

The Myrtle Beach Sun News contributed to this report.

Myrtle Beach 5, Hilton Head Island1

Singles: 1. Rachel Berkey def. Jen Oliver 6-2, 6-3; 2. Jessie Dumas def. Kate Cram 6-2, 6-5; 3. Bailey Deskins def. Sarah Wood 6-4, 6-3; 4. Holly Kerr (HHH) def. Emma Spring 3-6, 6-1, 10-7; 5. Paxton Gentry def. Nicole Diaz 7-6, 6-0.

Doubles: 2. Carolyn Gore/Catherine Truluck def. Hannah Brink/Maggie Flowers 7-5, 6-1.

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