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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Sikeston netters gear up for state

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Peter Jones
SPRINGFIELD -- Sikeston's tennis team is sending three players to the Class 1 state championships at the Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield on Friday.

Bulldogs representing District 1 at state are sophomore Marc Leible in the singles competition, and the doubles team of junior Peter Jones and senior Ryne Vickery.

All three will play in the first round on Friday at 10:15 a.m.

For Jones and Vickery, this will be the third year they've qualified for state as a doubles team.

"They've definitely had the experience, so that should help," said Sikeston tennis coach Brian James. "Last year they played an outstanding match and took the defending state runner-ups to three sets. They look to do well this year."

Ryne Vickery
This year Jones and Vickery moved up from No. 2 to No. 1 doubles on the team, compiling a season record of 14-4. Their losses came against Carbondale, Dexter and Charleston twice.

The duo qualified for state by recently winning the district tournament.

"They complement each other well," said James. "Ryne is really good at tracking down balls and has an excellent backhand. Peter is a pretty good net guy and has a good serve. They have very contrasting styles, but play well together."

The two will be seeded tomorrow before the first round begins on Friday.

"I think they would be disappointed if they didn't go up there and win a match or two," said James. "They've come close each of the last two years, but the competition is very tough. This year, I think they're shooting a little higher than they ever have."

Marc Leible
In the singles tournament, Leible qualified for state by placing second in the district tournament.

"We originally had planned on him playing doubles," said James. "About halfway through the year, we talked about it. He's such a good singles player, I thought he really had a good shot at reaching (the district) championship game and having a chance to play (Charleston's) Alec Peterson. That's how it turned out. He had a really good year and a really good district tournament."

Leible has been one of Sikeston's most consistent players this season in the No. 3 spot. His record is 16-2 with one loss to Peterson and one to Farmington's Chris Singer.

"He's a good ground-stroke guy and has a pretty good serve," said James. "He's a good athlete and is kind of deceptive out there. It doesn't look like he's getting to a lot of balls, but he gets to just about everything. If he gets a racket on it, he typically hits it back."

Admission to the state tournament is $6 per day.