High School Sports

Stanton, Seahawks steamroll overmatched tennis foes

Emma Stanton embraces matches like the one the Hilton Head Island High School tennis team coasted through Tuesday.

The competition from Orangeburg-Wilkinson was, to be quite frank, anything but. But that didn't stop the Seahawks from continuing to make adjustments on their way toward a potential sixth consecutive state title.

"A lot of times our biggest competition is at practice," the senior said. " ... I personally like to work on overhead during games, especially against opponents like this that give you a lot of lobs. I like to see if I can take those out of the air and make the most of it.

"That way, when I get into a more competitive situation, I'm solid with my skills."

These are the issues that arose for Hilton Head High on Tuesday. The Seahawks continued to build on their early success in Region 8-AAA, as Hilton Head High won its second league match in as many games, this time in a 6-0 conquest over Orangeburg-Wilkinson. But the team's biggest strides didn't come from the opponents across the net.

The Bruins won just two games in the loss, both coming in a 6-1, 6-1 defeat in No. 2 doubles.

"A lot of teams would take this as, 'Oh, it's just an easy win, just get through it,' " Stanton said. "But I think it benefits us in the long run to really make the most out of every match we get to play."

Stanton made sure to get in some extra time on her serve and volley while on her way to a 6-0, 6-0 win in No. 5 singles over Alshanee Stewart. The veteran Seahawk also practiced moving her opponent from side to side more while also working on her splice and kick serves.

The adjustments they make now will pay dividends later, coach Jennifer Weitekamper said.

"This team this year will get better playing each other and as we continue to learn from various matches," she said.

The Seahawks (6-1, 2-0) still have some work to do, regardless of what the final score may indicate. Hilton Head High hopes to keep building up its veteran players as they look to replace last year's leaders, Sabrina Drammis and Megan Farrell.

That task has fallen early on to Brooke Busby, who knocked off Jasmine Quales in No. 1 singles Tuesday.

"This is my senior year, so I really want a ring," Busby said. "You always want a ring, but this year is different. I'd love to have a ring."

Busby admitted it was hard to keep focus at times en route to her lopsided win. That's to be expected on occasion for teams like the Seahawks, who are once again creating slogans and mottos to help push the group toward its lofty goals.

Last year it was "Strive for Five" as Hilton Head High looked for a fifth straight state crown. This season it's "6-Love," which coincidentally, was the score from all but one of the matches against the Bruins.

"We do that to keep ourselves motivated to get to the big stuff," Stanton said, "the light at the end of the tunnel."

Hilton Head High 6, Orangeburg Wilkinson 0

Singles

No. 1 -- Brooke Busby (HHH) def. Jasmine Quales 6-0, 6-0; No. 2 -- Jennifer Oliver (HHH) def. Kanah Cobbs 6-0, 6-0; No. 3 -- Logan Danzell (HHH) def. Kira Staley 6-0, 6-0; No. 4 -- Kate Cram (HHH) def. Danielle Beaufort 6-0, 6-0; No. 5 -- Emma Stanton (HHH) def. Alshanee Stewart 6-0, 6-0.

Doubles

No. 2 -- Sarah Wood/Hannah Brink (HHH) def. Ashley Singh/Kia Jones 6-1, 6-1.

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