In a change from Tuesday’s home playoff win over North Myrtle Beach, the Hilton Head Island volleyball team didn’t have any issues with nerves during Thursday night’s third-round match with Midland Valley.
Instead, the Seahawks (41-7-1) were cool and confident during a 3-0 sweep of the Mustangs in which the home team never trailed at any point.
“They were confident. They knew they were going to win,” Hilton Head Island coach Garret Talarczyk said. “I don’t want to get cocky, but they are set on winning these next two matches.”
The win sets up a showdown with Aiken, a 3-0 winner over Myrtle Beach, for the Lower State championship. The Seahawks will host the Fighting Green Hornets at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Against North Myrtle Beach, the Seahawks dropped the first set before pulling together to win 4-1. But this time, the play was business-like during the 25-20, 25-14, 25-11 victory.
“We made sure we kept the momentum up the whole time,” senior setter Aileen Moore said. “We lost our first set last match, which kind of threw us off. We realized we had to pick it up, so today we decided that we were going to come out without losing anything.”
All-state hitter Sierra Davis was her usual big-hitting self, notching 18 kills to go along with three aces and a block. Brantley Herrington added five kills and two blocks.
Freshman Lexi Standen was solid again with 31 assists, while junior Hannah Edelman (eight kills, four aces) and Alexxis Andreas (10 digs, four aces) had strong games, as well.
Talarczyk was happy with his team’s improvement from the service line, an issue recently for the Seahawks.
“Much better,” he said. “We had more aces than we did missed serves, and I’m fine with that. We’re going to serve aggressively, it’s fine if we have the missed serves as long as we have the aces.”
Moore said the team had made a lot of progress on its serving.
“At the end of the season, we were missing outrageous amounts of serves to where we would lose games,” Moore said. “(Coach Talarczyk) has us each doing 15 serves at the beginning of practice, in a row, and at the end of the practice. It’s our entrance slip into practice and our exit slip out of practice.”
After the win, Talarczyk didn’t yet know who the Seahawks would face — Aiken or Myrtle Beach — but was confident as long as his team could put it’s serves in, they could give either one a good game.
Moore went a step further.
“I honestly don’t think it matters,” she said. “If we keep playing the way we’re playing as a team and keep having the confidence we’re having, we should be able to take care of either one of them.”