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Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014

Sikeston netters ousted at state; Charleston advances

Sunday, June 1, 2003

SPRINGFIELD - The Sikeston tennis team was eliminated at the Class 1 state tennis tournament on Friday in Springfield.

While the doubles team of Ryne Vickery and Peter Jones, and singles player Marc Leible, each won one match, but it wasn't enough to advance to the finals on Saturday.

"It's good to get up there and for each of them to get wins," said Sikeston head coach Brian James. "Because I know Peter and Ryne have been up there twice before. They set some high goals this year, and to get up there and win a match was one of their goals. In the two they lost, they played well but they came up a little short."

Leible lost in the first round to Austin O'Reilly of Springfield Catholic, 6-3, 6-1. He then defeated Missouri Military Academy's Sean Crawford by default.

That set him up in the consolation quarterfinals where Savannah's Andy Gordon won 6-3, 6-2.

"I thought Marc played two pretty good matches," said James. "But they're just very good people. The kid from Catholic is a four-time state qualifier if I'm not mistaken."

In first round doubles Vickery and Jones defeated Zac Gillian and Jordan Salyer of Lafayette County 6-2, 6-3.

They were then defeated by John Burroughs' Teddy Felker and Ned Sears 6-0, 6-0.

Vickery and Jones were eliminated in the consolation quarterfinals by Pembroke Hill's Matt Bleakley and David Magill 7-5, 6-2.

"It's almost unbelievable the competition you see up there," said James. "On the doubles side Ryne and Peter probably played the state champions. One of the members of that doubles team has won state the last two years."

It's the end of a run for Vickery, who played four years of varsity tennis. He spent the last three qualifying for state with Jones.

"Ryne's graduating and he's had a great career for us and he's accomplished a lot in four years," said James. "But now we've got to find Peter a new partner for next year."

Charleston singles player Alec Peterson advanced to the finals as did the doubles team of Lee Hess and Blake Branum.

"It's as good as it can get -- I couldn't be any prouder of these guys," said Charleston head coach Mitch Baker. "All the hard work has paid off this year. I'm real proud of them.

It's still a tough road with the semis and the finals. But just to be in the final four is quite an accomplishment. I've never been here and had two entries in the final four."

Peterson defeated Jacob Gutwillig from Jefferson in the first round 6-2, 7-5. He then defeated Savannah's Andy Gordon in three sets, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 to reach the final four.

"He turned it up a notch," said Baker. "He's the only public school person left in the final four."

Hess and Branum reached the semifinals with a first round victory, 7-5, 6-3, against Steve Gum and Eric White of Willow Springs. They then defeated Marshall's Blake Garrett and Myles Yokeley 6-4, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.

The Charleston players can finish no worse then fourth place.

"They were focused," said Baker. "They played well, they played confident. When a few things went against them, they had some bad breaks and the didn't let it rattle them."