High School Sports

Seahawks dominant in winning 4th straight tennis title

Scott Nichols started his rounds at the far end of the Palmetto Tennis Center, watching his doubles team.

The Hilton Head High coach then walked back, watching the Seahawks' singles matches but saying little. Nichols prefers to just watch, but he had a pep talk planned should any of his girls have lost a set.

Don't worry, he would have told them. A comeback is only a set and tiebreaker away.

But there was no need. The Seahawks again did not drop a set en route to a 6-0 defeat of Greenville in Saturday's Class 3-A tennis final. Hilton Head High won its fourth consecutive state title after winning all 48 sets during its four playoff matches.

"That's pretty decisive," Nichols said.

The Seahawks (15-2) celebrated by posing for numerous pictures and each was awarded a medal. The state championship trophy was presented to seniors Lindsey Burke and Holli Selman. Burke, the Seahawks' top singles player, and Selman, who played doubles, were part of each of the Seahawks' past four state title teams.

Despite the Seahawks' dominance during the season, Burke said she remained nervous throughout the postseason. She didn't want to go out without another state championship and didn't want to be part of the team to end the streak.

"We didn't want to go out here being overconfident," Burke said. "We didn't really know what to expect. I tried to tell the team members to go out there with the mind-set that every match is going to be equally difficult. You can't base anything on past information."

During last year's title match, the Seahawks were down 3-2 to J.L. Mann before rallying to win both doubles matches. The memory was there Saturday.

But afterwards, there was no more worry. The Seahawks prepared for a celebratory trip to Five Guys and then to watch the school's volleyball team compete for its own state title.

Greenville earned its first trip to a state final since 1982. The Red Raiders are young, with three eighth graders and two freshmen among their seven who played Saturday.

Greenville coach Stephen Demosthenes, in his seventh year, said the Red Raiders finally got back to this point because of a commitment to play tournaments outside of high school tennis. He said his young squad should be back again in coming years.

"We made that first step to get here," Demosthenes said. "And I think being here will pay off."

There was little his team could do Saturday to slow the four-peat.

Burke -- who now moves on to play in the state singles tournament -- dropped Red Raiders' No. 1 Christina Merchant, a freshman, 6-0, 6-0. Jasmyn Howell also won 6-0, 6-0 at the No. 4 spot for the Seahawks.

Hilton Head High 6, Greenville 0

Singles: No. 1 -- Lindsey Burke def. Christina Merchant 6-0, 6-0; No. 2 -- Brooke Busby def. Christine Ingram 6-2, 6-3; No. 3 -- Sabrina Drammis def. Anna Taylor 6-1, 6-1; No. 4 -- Jasmyn Howell def. Megan Parke 6-0, 6-0; No. 5 -- Sydnee Wheeler def. McKayla Aycock 6-2, 6-1

Doubles: Holli Selman/Megan Farrell def. Stephenson/Williamson 6-2, 6-3