MISSOULA, Mont. - Last year as a singles player, Big Sky's Aaron Koerner competed at the state tournament, but only as a #4 seed and he didn't make any noise. This year he's got bigger expectations as a #1 seed doubles team with Big Sky sophomore Colin Bahin.
"I'm still kind of shocked at how well we've done because I've never had a season like this one," said Koerner. "Where I've gone two or three matches without losing."
This duo started their chemistry all off-season when they competed with and against each other at the tennis court in Koerner's backyard.
"When we play here it's competitive but at the same time it's fun," said Koerner of their favorite practice spot. "Because if one of us makes a terrible shot we can joke around but come time to play the next point it's serious."
And they've turned that backyard tennis into a great chemistry on the courts this spring.
"It's nice because Colin has a really nice forehand and my backhand is my stronger stroke," explains Koerner. "So we use that to a big advantage as far as serve returns go."
"I love playing doubles with Aaron, it's just much less stressful I guess," said the sophomore Bahin. "We never get each other down; we've never said anything negative to each other all year."
"I'm definitely more cool on the court," said Koerner. "He gets a little steamed at himself for making some errors."
"I've become much more calm I use to beat myself up mentally every close match I played," agreed Koerner. "And he's just so calm that it kind of rubs off on me."
This Big Sky duo is definitely excited for the state tournament this week in Great Falls. They expect nothing less than a state finals appearance.
"I'm anxious and looking forward to it," said Bahin. "I have no doubt that we can take the title though. I want to end his high school career on a high note you know, have something to tell the grandkids."
"For me, the past three years Hellgate has taken the doubles state championship," said Koerner. "And I've played with those guys since I was in 4th grade. I want to see it end with a different Missoulian at a different school. I want to push myself to achieve that goal."