Trojan tennis tandems pair up late, but are heading to state

Humble beginnings? Travis Hanley and Josh Jeter didn’t even have those. Neither did Mariah Siemion and Peyton Prothero.

  • Monday, June 2, 2008 7:03pm
  • Sports

Humble beginnings? Travis Hanley and Josh Jeter didn’t even have those. Neither did Mariah Siemion and Peyton Prothero.

Back at the beginning of their respective tennis seasons at Auburn High – last fall for Hanley and Jeter, earlier this spring for Siemion and Prothero – they weren’t even playing together.

But they are now. And this weekend, they’ll be playing together at the Class 3A state tournament in Kennewick.

The two Trojan tandems grabbed the final available state berths last Saturday in the West Central-Southwest District tournament at Sprinker Recreation Center in Spanaway with straight-set victories in winner-to-state, loser-out matches.

Jeter and Hanley, down 4-1 to Yelm’s Cody Leinback and Louis DeGeyer in the first set, stormed back for a 6-4, 6-2 win to claim their state tickets. Siemion and Prothero turned aside a gritty effort from Shelton’s Kathyn Barbero and Emma Leimback, who fought off four match points before two Trojans prevailed on the fifth try to close out a 6-1, 6-2 decision.

“Whenever we’re down, we can come back,” said Jeter, who, like Hanley, started last fall in singles until Auburn coach Phil Smetheram suggested about halfway through the season that the two of them pair up. “They’re both good players (from Yelm). They were putting pressure on us, but we were playing the way we wanted to.”

Their path to state included a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3) loser-out win against Evergreen’s Andy To and Daniel Nguyen that kept their hopes alive.

“That was the most intense match,” Hanley said, adding that a state trip began to seem more realistic “after we got that one.”

Siemion, a junior, and Prothero, a freshman, joined forces at the suggestion of girls coach Crystal Wisness in mid April. Coming into the South Puget Sound League tournament as seventh seeds, they made a surprising run to the finals before settling for second.

At district, they pulled out their second three-set victory in a week against Enumclaw’s Taylor Hart and Gabby Engelhard to stay alive. They had the upper hand all afternoon in the winner-to state match against Shelton.

“When we first started, we weren’t quite sure what was going to happen,” Siemion said, then, knowing that her season still had another week to go, added with a smile, “I’m used to being done with tennis by now.”

“We thought we were just playing for the alternate (spot),” Prothero said . “Then we found out it was for state. We’re ecstatic.”

Auburn sophomore Sandy Dennett, further establishing herself as an area on-court force, won three of her four matches to take fourth place and a state spot in girls singles. Riverside’s Holtgraves and Craft will go as the sixth seed from district in girls doubles.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@auburn-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.auburn-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Sports

Former Seattle Sounders Lamar Neagle to coach Federal Way Football Club

Federal Way native looks forward to “giving back to the community that helped raise me.”

Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices

Before practice begins, parents must understand COVID-19 protective protocols

Pictured: A Mercer Island High School swimmer competes in fall 2019. Washington Interscholastic Activities Association recently announced the girls swim and dive season will be moved to “Season 3,” which begins March 1. File photo
WIAA gives schools option to delay start of prep sports until December

An updated plan moves girls swimming to Season 3 and makes fall cross country an alternate season.

Stock photo
King County announces $600K in grants for youth sports

On July 27, King County announced the recipients of the 2020 Youth… Continue reading

The Todd Beamer Titans football team in Federal Way during a 2019 summer practice. File photo
WIAA modifies prep sports calendar; football moved to spring

Washington’s high school athletics governing body announced its revised plans for the… Continue reading

WIAA delays start dates for fall sports

Football practices to begin Sept. 5, all other sports planned for Sept. 7.

Betting surges at Emerald Downs even without fans in grandstands

Mobile, off-track wagering breaks $1 million on opening day

Emerald Downs changes opening day to June 24

Live racing to return at Auburn track but without fans

COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Emerald Downs
Emerald Downs announces revised 2020 stakes schedule

Racing starts June 22; first featured race Aug. 2

Emerald Downs to open for horse racing June 22

No fans initially at Auburn track; fans can wager from home

FILE PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds
T-Birds issue ticket refunds, exchanges for cancelled games in Kent

17,000 tickets sold for three March contests at ShoWare Center