Shannon Slattery had heard all sorts of tall tales about the mammoth hitters the Hilton Head Island High School volleyball team had at its disposal leading into Tuesday's Class 3-A playoff opener.
It didn't take the St. James coach long to discover those tales weren't exactly myths.
"I'd heard a lot of different rumors about how they have all these 6-foot tall players and they can all hit the ball," she said. "As soon as I walked in the gym, I was like, 'OK, yep, I agree.'"
The Seahawks lived up to their billing against the outmanned Sharks, as newly named all-state performer Sierra Davis led Hilton Head High to a 25-19, 25-16, 25-19 sweep of St. James to open up what could be a promising postseason run.
The sophomore finished with 12 kills and two blocks to pace a Seahawks team that was never in any apparent danger against the fourth-seeded Sharks.
"We started really strong and we kind of let off a little bit, but then we came back and played our game," she said. "But I think we need to step it up for Thursday's game, because the competition is going to be a little bit harder."
Hannah Edelman added nine kills and five aces while Mallory Lewis, who was named Tuesday to the North South All-Star Game, added six kills and two blocks. They teamed with Davis to make quick work of St. James and gear up for Thursday's showdown between the winner of Gilbert and Darlington.
"Passing was great, hitting was great," coach Garret Talarczyk said. "We were moving the ball around great. We were just a little off sync with our inside game, giving points away."
The Seahawks (23-5) showed signs of rust early after not playing in a couple of weeks. They let a big lead slip in the first set before hanging on for a six-point win, and broke a 13-all tie in the second set by claiming 12 of the last 15 points.
Hilton Head High also gave away 12 points on serves in the 25-19, third-set victory.
"We're just getting back in the swing of things," Talarczyk said. "But other than that, there was never a doubt, where I thought we were going to be in trouble. We just have to clean up the serves and keep the ball in play."