BOZEMAN — Undefeated Bozeman High sophomore tennis player Meg McCarty has yet to lose a game this season and now she’s looking to cap it off with a state championship win.
“It’s very fun when you win, but it’s also not fun when you lose," she said. "I think the winning feeling is kind of the main part for me.”
McCarty’s love for sport began when she was 6 years old and she participated in tennis camps at Montana State. She’s been developing her game ever since.
“For being a youngster in terms of her school age, she’s definitely not a youngster in terms of her tennis playing experience,” said her head coach Clayton Harris.
She might not intimidate opponents with her size, but the Hawks sophomore has put a lot of effort into refining her game. She is ranked No. 16 nationally for her age group.
“Growing up I wasn’t the biggest, the strongest or the fastest," McCarty said. "I kind of had to develop new shots like slice, drop shots and lobs. I think that really works for me.”
All that hard work is paying off in her first year at the varsity level as she hasn’t lost a game yet this season.
“She’s certainly good enough to win a lot of matches," said Harris. "To have a string of matches where it’s a 6-0, 6-0 result, that’s a pretty special thing to do. It’s not easy to do.”
Here’s how Harris compares her stunning accomplishment.
“I was asked by someone if there was another sports analogy to put to it, I said, ‘Well, it’s like a perfect 10 on the gym floor in gymnastics or pitching a no-hitter. It’s doable, but it’s really hard to do,'” he said.
One would think the idea of staying perfect puts a lot of pressure on the sophomore, but it doesn’t.
“I think the biggest thing is, I go into every match wanting to play the tennis I’ve practiced for so long," McCarty said. "I’m happy to not have lost a game, but I don’t feel any pressure or anything.”
McCarty is looking forward to competing for a state title this week in Great Falls, but she has her eyes on a much bigger prize.
“I have a goal of playing (NCAA Division I) tennis, I practice hard for that both on and off the court. That’s kind of my end goal,” she said.