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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Jones, Robey place at state tennis tourney

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Sikeston doubles partners Peter Jones, left, and Chris Robey relax in between matches.
SPRINGFIELD - Sikeston's doubles tennis tandem of Peter Jones and Chris Robey accomplished on Saturday what perhaps no other Bulldog athlete had ever accomplished -- placing at the state tennis tournament.

After winning their first two matches on Friday, the two were guaranteed a top four finish at Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield.

Pitted against the eventual state champion in the semifinals on Saturday, Jones and Robey had their hands full. They lost 6-1, 6-3 to John Burroughs' Teddy Felker and Teddy White.

They then had to play in the third place match against Mt. Vernon's Andrew Hinojosa and Grayson Hinojosa, who they lost to 6-1, 6-3.

But Jones and Robey were satisfied with a top four finish.

"They set a goal going in that they wanted to place in the top four," said Sikeston tennis coach Brian James. "They won two good matches against two quality teams. I'm very happy for them and very proud of them. I don't know that anyone's placed higher. The records in the state program doesn't mention any Sikeston placers. So based on that they are the only state placers in school history."

James said Jones and Robey, who never played with each other heading into the season, started to click around district tournament time.

The all-important good draw in the state tournament didn't happen, but Jones and Robey battled through it and defeated doubles teams from Pembroke Hill and Duchesne in succession to reach the semifinals.

"I've talked over and over about how important it is to get a favorable draw," said James. "You want to stay away from the powers and sure enough we get there and we're up against Pembroke Hill's No. 2 doubles team. But they went out there and got off to a good start and played outstanding. Then they had Duchesne in the second round, another really tough team, and they played great against them. Even against John Burroughs, who ended up winning state, I thought they might've played their best match against them. They were a point away from going up 4-2 in the second set. I really thought they played well."

Sikeston singles player Marc Leible competed in the state tournament but didn't place.

Leible played Jack Levis in the first round, who eventually finished second.

"Levis is just an outstanding player," said James. "Marc drew him first round so that's some tough luck there. And then he was matched up against Pembroke Hill. He was very competitive with the guy but it was hot and he kind of wore down. He went toe to toe with him in the first set. He made some strides in this tournament and he's got another shot next year."