A 4-3 win over Socastee in the third round of the Class 3-A tennis playoffs was all Jennifer Weitekamper needed to see.
The Hilton Head Island High School boys tennis coach knew the Braves were the stiffest test her Seahawks would face this postseason.
She had seen it firsthand in each of the previous two seasons, when the Lower State rivals bounced Hilton Head High from the playoffs.
“(They were) the test that helped us,” she said. “I believe the Socastee coach and I agreed that the Lower state champion was the one that was going to move forward the furthest.”
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So when Hilton Head High emerged unscathed, the rest was a breeze. It showed in a 4-0 win over Wilson in the Lower State championship, and again on Saturday in a 6-0 triumph over A.C. Flora in the state championship match.
“We came in with the mindset that we really just wanted to clean house fast,” said senior Mitchell Brockmann, who delivered a resounding 6-1, 6-0 win over Lukas McClamrock at No. 2 singles. “We didn’t go in here knowing that we were going to win that easily, I guess, but we wanted to make sure that we were really focused.”
Brockmann teamed with fellow state singles qualifier Tate Steinour to deliver the resounding victory. The sophomore transfer from Virginia tallied a 6-1, 6-1 win over Brandon Douglass at the top spot to pace a dominating Seahawks performance which culminated in the school’s first boys tennis title since 1989.
“I’m trying to savor this because I don’t really know what it means yet,” he said. “But I feel it’s pretty special.”
Matt Oliver, Will Danzell and Stevie DeVincentis also tallied singles victories for Hilton Head High (19-2), which lost just nine of the 69 combined singles games played. It was an impressive feat over an A.C. Flora team which returned to the title match for the first time in eight years following a defeat of River Bluff in the Upper State final.
“We had a great season,” first-year coach Amy Martin said of the Falcons, who finished 18-5. “I always knew this team could do very well, and this team has a lot of depth.”
The Seahawks, however, proved deeper.
That much was proven after Brad Malool and Ian Schenkel capped a clean sweep with a 10-6 third-set victory at No. 2 doubles, which Malool celebrated by tossing his racket to the ground as he screamed toward the Hilton Head High fans watching from courtside.
“These guys earned it,” Weitekamper said. “They’ve been working really hard. We’ve got five players on this team that have been around since their eighth grade year.
“They’ve built this up, I just came in and kind of pulled them together. They did what they needed to do.”
Class 3-A Boys Tennis State Championship
At Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center
Hilton Head High 6, A.C. Flora 0
Singles -- No. 1: Tate Steinour (HHH) def. Brandon Douglass 6-1, 6-1; No. 2: Mitchell Brockmann (HHH) def. Lukas McClamrock 6-1, 6-0; No. 3: Matt Oliver (HHH) def. Austin Powell 6-2, 6-2; No. 4: Will Danzell (HHH) def. Alexander Glickman 6-0, 6-1; No. 5: Stevie DeVincentis (HHH) def. Hal Fant 6-1, 6-0.
Doubles -- No. 2: Brad Malool/Ian Schenkel (HHH) def. Richard Kneece/Zach Kirkland 6-4, 5-7, 10-6.