High School Sports

Seahawks flying high after sweep of Bobcats

It can be difficult for an opposing team to walk onto Hilton Head High's tennis courts and not be intimidated.

Hanging on the fence are three Class 3-A state championship banners -- 2009, 2008 and 2007.

A vacant spot remains for 2010. But perhaps not for long.

The Seahawks moved to 10-2 on the year with a 6-0 sweep of rival Bluffton High School on Tuesday.

After the match, one player called the team even more dangerous than last year.

"We're going to win it again," said eighth-grader Sydnee Wheeler, who was part of last year's title run. "We're deeper. The other schools can't match our depth."

The Bobcats struggled to do so Tuesday afternoon.

The Seahawks took every set in the match. No. 1 Lindsey Burke, No. 2 Brooke Busby, No. 3 Sabrina Drammis, No. 4 Jasmyn Howell and Wheeler notched singles victories. Megan Farrell and Holli Selman paired for a win at No. 2 doubles to cap the sweep.

The Seahawks are in their final two weeks of preparation to defend their title. They will open up the playoffs with a home match Oct. 28.

A year ago, they defeated JL Mann in the final match, but that school has since moved up to compete in Class 4-A this year.

"No one really took their spot at that level, so on paper, we're the team to beat again," Seahawks coach Scott Nichols said. "I think we're ready. You saw our top team today. Bluffton is a good team, but we played well today."

The Seahawks cruised to straight-sets victories, though Bobcats No. 2 player Taylor Soop fought hard in the first set against Busby before losing 7-5, 6-0.

Bobcats coach Bob Brown thought his team narrowed the gap in other matches, as well. Brown gave his team a realistic outlook at a victory Tuesday, and plans to do the same when the two teams meet again Thursday at Bluffton.

"I told our girls coming in to bring everything they've got, and let's let Hilton Head (High) know we made the effort here," Brown said. "And I think we did that."

Despite suffering their first Region 7-AAA loss of the year, the Bobcats (9-4) already have clinched a spot in the Class 3-A playoffs by taking second in the region.

Bluffton, in the midst of its third straight winning season, will try to make it past the first round and win its first postseason match in school history. But it will have to do so on the road, possibly on a trip to Camden.

"We've been the best of the worst or the worst of the best, however you want to look at it," Brown said. "We've got to get to another level by going through somebody. We've had a successful season, but it would be a great season if we could somehow get through the first round."

Hilton Head High 6, Bluffton 0

Singles: No. 1 Lindsey Burke (HHH) def. Charlotte Loper 6-2, 6-1; No. 2 Brooke Busby (HHH) def. Taylor Soop 7-5, 6-0; No. 3 Sabrina Drammis (HHH) def. Ashley Bierschenk 6-2, 6-0; No. 4 Jasmyn Howell (HHH) def. Samantha Brophy 6-1, 6-0; No. 5 Sydnee Wheeler (HHH) def. Katelin Casas 6-1, 6-1.

Doubles: Megan Farrell/Holli Selman (HHH) def. Liz Lunde/Bridgett Hill 6-2, 6-1.