High School Sports

Hilton Head looks to return to top of 3-A girls tennis

Hilton Head Island's string of six straight Class 3-A girls tennis titles came to an end in 2013 at the hands of Myrtle Beach.

And again last year, the Hilton Head lost the battle of the Seahawks.

Once again this season, Hilton Head Island opens the 3-A playoffs (vs. Midland Valley, 4 p.m. Thursday) with its eyes on a state championship. And once again, Myrtle Beach will likely stand in the way.

"Every game is a one-and-done," Hilton Head head coach Jennifer Weitekamper said during Wednesday's practice. "We know we might see Myrtle Beach down the line. That's always a concern."

But Weitekamper has reason to think this year's Hilton Head Island team is different from last year's, mainly because of how they relate to each other.

"We're still solid down the line," Weitekamper said. "But we're tighter, closer and we were early on. Companionship. Respect. It's been a building process. I think that's what's going to carry us through the bracket, along with skill and consistency. But it's not going to be easy."

The Seahawks (13-4, 8-0) ran through the Region 8-AAA slate unbeaten this season, with their four losses coming to Hilton Head Prep and Class 4-A schools.

Jen Oliver and Sarah Wood have spent the season moving between the No. 1 and 2 positions. They were joined on the all-region team by Holly Kerr, who has been more than solid at No. 3.

Oliver said the key to Hilton Head's playoff fortunes is confidence.

"We have to stay positive and consitent," Oliver said.