High School Sports

Conditioning, physical and mental, key to Hilton Head's run to 3-A volleyball final

Hilton Head Island High?s volleyball team celebrates after winning the Class 3-A Lower State Volleyball final against Myrtle Beach High School on Tuesday night at Hilton Head Island High School.
Hilton Head Island High?s volleyball team celebrates after winning the Class 3-A Lower State Volleyball final against Myrtle Beach High School on Tuesday night at Hilton Head Island High School. dearley@islandpacket.com

Given the outcome of Hilton Head Island's last two trips to the Class 3-A state volleyball final, Seahawks head coach volleyball coach Garrett Talarczyk decided to make a change this week.

The Seahawks are driving to Columbia on Saturday morning instead of staying in a hotel the night before.

But if Hilton Head Island prevails over Eastside at 3:30 p.m. at White Knoll High School, it's likely that move had little to do with it.

The real change Talarczyk made was before the season when he amped up the Seahawks conditioning program.

When Hilton Head fell to Pickens in last year's final, Talarczyk felt his team was out of gas. So this year, he worked them hard, and it has shown up on the court.

"Last year, we barely conditioned," junior outside hitter Da'nesha Miller said. "We conditioned at the beginning of the year and didn't condition all the way through. We would condition on game day because we needed it.

"If you don't condition, you're not going to get anywhere. You're going to get sloppy. Your form is going downhill. It's all about staying up and staying hydrated."

Myrtle Beach played Hilton Head well early in the Lower State championship, but the Seahawks from the Pee Dee were obviously tired down the stretch.

Senior outside hitter Hannah Edelman has talked about Hilton Head's conditioning, as well. But she says the Seahawks' improvements are not all physical.

"I don't think that's the only difference," Edelman said. "I think we are, in all aspects, stronger. We are so mentally tough in all aspects. We can push anytime we're down and get back up. We can push.

"The thing is, we're not only conditioned physically but mentally, and that's our strength, honestly -- to be able to push through the hard times. We have each other's back."

"Whatever we do, we have to stick together as a team," Miller said. "When we go to (the state final), it's all about a family. And we are a family."

SCHSL Class 3-A Volleyball Championship

Hilton Head Island vs. Eastside

3:30 p.m. Saturday, White Knoll High School, Columbia

Admission: $8

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