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Hilton Head Christian High School

 

HHCA volleyball expects to be back in title contention

By David Shelton
Senior Writer

Hilton Head – If the first month of play is any indication, the Hilton Head Christian Academy volleyball team should again be a state title contender in SCISA Class AA this season.
The Eagles have made solid playoff runs in recent years but have come up short of their ultimate goal, winning a state champion. Competition for the title will again be fierce but Hilton Head Christian is counting on their veteran experience to lead the way.
Entering into the stretch drive of early October, Hilton Head Christian was 25-6-1 overall with an unblemished record in region play. The Eagles are the clear favorite to win the region title. Among their impressive non-region wins are victories over Branchville, Bishop England, Hilton Head and Cathedral Academy – all four recent state champions in their divisions.
Senior Sydney DeSimone continues to set the pace on the floor for the Eagles. DeSimone has 301 kills, 32 blocks, 34 aces and 396 digs as she displays an all-around floor game.
Seniors Cortney Gray and Jane Bender work as the team’s setters, each with more than 200 assists through the first month. Gray also has contributed 31 service aces and 125 defensive digs.
Senior Julia Wilder is a defensive specialist with 324 digs. Junior Lauren Qualls has 178 kills, 22 blocks, a team-high 70 service aces, 251 digs and 167 assists.
Freshman Ady O’Grady is proving to be a star in the making. She has 135 kills, 49 blocks and 128 digs. Sophomore Dior Shelton has 82 kills and 40 blocks as a middle hitter.
The football team also is having a solid season. Since opening the season with two losses, the Eagles have won three straight games heading into a region game with Orangeburg Prep on October 5th.
The Eagles posted an impressive 56-9 win over Northwood Academy on September 28 as quarterback Hayden Shinn completed nine of 12 passes for 244 yards and four touchdowns, building on his impressive season as the team’s first-year starter under center.
Through five games, Shinn has completed 79 of 138 passes for 1,248 yards and 17 touchdowns, all marks that rank among the best in SCISA this season.
JP Peduzzi has been one of several targets in the passing game. Peduzzi has 21 receptions for 445 yards and five touchdowns. Daniel Harrington is one of the more versatile players offensively, working as a running back, kick returner and receiver. In the win over Northwood, Harrington caught a touchdown pass, had a rushing score, and returned a kick for a touchdown. He has more than 300 receiving yards and has accounted for 10 touchdowns.
Brennen Studenc also has more than 300 receiving yards.
Linebacker Max Lowery leads the team in tackles with more than 40 hits. Linebacker Ben Viljac has nearly 40 tackles with seven hits for loss. Harrington, Dargan Cherry, Jackson Lanier also rate as key defenders. Peduzzi has three interceptions at safety.

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