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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Dexter wins tennis district

Friday, May 13, 2005

Sikeston's Charlie Jones returns a shot.
SIKESTON - The Sikeston Bulldogs tennis team didn't win the team district championship, but they did have an individual capture his first title.

Senior Marc Leible, who had finished in second the previous two years, won the singles title against St. Pius' Mooney in three sets, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.

After receiving a first round bye, Leible breezed through his next three opponents in straight sets with no match closer than 6-2.

"I was so glad to see Marc win the singles title," said Sikeston coach Brian James. "He played very well all day. His finals match wasn't his best, but it was at the end of a long, hot day and he did enough to win it all. He's finished second the past two years and it was good to see him win it all this year. He's worked hard and has been a tremendous player for me for all four years. He'll be making his third trip to state and I know he's excited about it. He's deserved all the success he's had this year."

But even with Leible's victory, Sikeston's team came up short for the team title, scoring 24 points to Dexter's 30 points. St. Pius took third with 17 points followed by Charleston in fourth with 16.5 points.

Marc Leible
Most of Charleston's points came from the doubles team of Blake Branum and Derek Hoppe, who took first place in the doubles competition.

Sikeston's doubles team of Charlie Jones and Clayton Matthews finished fifth.

"I thought we performed about as well as we could," said James. "Going in to the district tournament, I thought Dexter was clearly the best overall team. They are so solid from top to bottom that I knew it would take them getting upset somewhere along the way and us upsetting somebody. But, I thought all of my players played pretty well today. In doubles, Charlie and Clayton played an outstanding first match, then took a senior tandem in Aaron Lavender and Scott Admire of Dexter to three sets. I think they learned a lot from that match. Logan (Hampton) and Andrew (Powell) came up with some big points for us in the No. 2 doubles spot and I saw a lot of grit and effort from them today out there."

Sikeston also got some big points from singles player Chris Matthews, who made it to the quarterfinals before having to retire in a match that he was leading 4-6, 6-4, 4-1.

"Chris Matthews gave a great effort today," said James. "He got fatigued in his quarterfinal match and I think he would've won that one if he was at full strength. Temperatures were probably near 90, making for numerous heat-

related cramps during the day, but all in all, I would consider it a very successful tournament for us."

Dexter's highest finishers were the doubles team of Derek Roberts and Josh Smith, who took second. Lavender and Admire finished in third. Dexter's singles player Gabe Smith took third place.

Next up for Dexter and Sikeston is the sectional tournament which Dexter will host. Sikeston will play the winner of District 2 while Dexter will take on the second place team.

Sikeston had won the district championship four of the last five years heading into Thursday's tournament.

Leible automatically advances to the state tournament for the third straight year.