BILLINGS – Jay and Gigi Montague were born to play tennis.

“Oh yeah, my mom’s a tennis player and my dad really likes tennis,” said Gigi, “so they’ve encouraged us to play. Jay and I have been playing together for a long time and we really enjoy it.”

“Oh, I always knew I was going to play in high school and for Senior High,” agreed Jay. “It’s super cool to be able to play. That’s kind of the school we knew we were going to go to. I mean, I even came to practices when I was little.”

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And all those years of practice have these two siblings on top of high school tennis in Billings.

“It’s great,” Jay said. “It’s really cool, for sure. I guess for me, it’s just been kind of process to where I want to be and four years … wow, it’s already here, so it’s cool.”

Jay’s resume is impressive: four consecutive state tournaments, three straight Eastern AA divisional titles and he’s the No. 2 player in all of Montana. But more than anything, he wants that state title.

“It’d be great,” Jay said. “I’ve waited for this for a long time, and this is what I’ve always wanted to do.”

“He’s been working harder than anyone else, and I feel like his senior year would be a great way to go out if he could somehow win that state title,” said Senior boys head coach Josh Miller.

Gigi, only a sophomore, is following right in the footsteps of her older brother. She crashed the state party a year ago as a doubles player. This year she’s trying singles.

“I’ve always liked doubles a little bit more because you have someone there with you,” said Gigi. “It (doubles) is a little more fun, I guess. Singles is a little more nerve-racking.”

Safe to say, she’s picked it up just fine. Just like Jay, Gigi won the Eastern AA divisional crown and is now 2-for-2 in state appearances.

“It means a lot,” said Gigi. “Feels really good after that last match in the finals and everything and with my brother going, as well, as the No. 1 seed. It was a lot of fun, and my parents were super proud.”

But the question we really want to know: Who’s better?

“I’m definitely better at smack talking Jay,” Gigi admitted, “but I think he could probably beat me on the court.”

“Ohhh, we’ll have to play some time,” Jay smiled. “We both hold down the one singles position, so we definitely talk smack with each other.”

At the end of the day it’s all about respect.

“He’s so much more experienced and it’s great. He loves to talk about matches with me and help me with them and I try to help him, but you know,” laughed Gigi.

The only thing better than one state championship … two.

The State AA tennis tournament begins Thursday in Kalispell.

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