BOZEMAN – Trey Christaens has come close so many times, but on Saturday the Bigfork senior finally achieved the feat he’s been shooting for. In a rematch of the 2017 State B/C tennis title match, Christaens defeated Great Falls Central’s Roger Mai to win his first ever state championship championship 3-2 (7-5, 3-6, 7-6).
Christaens finished runner-up twice at state in boys singles as a freshman and sophomore and came in third last year. And the hard work and patience finally paid off.
“It feels really good, I’m glad it finally happened. It’s not as big as I thought it would be, but it still feels really good to have one,” Christaens said. “Some people were giving me crap that I have never won, but it feels good to finally get one. It’s unexplainable right now, I’m kind of in shock.”
As Christaens waits for that championship feeling to finally sink in, in girls singles, Missoula Loyola freshman Evelyn Deschens claimed her first state crown, defeating Bigfork senior Payton Crawford in straight sets (6-4, 6-0). And Deschens wasn’t shaken by having to face an upperclassman in the title match.
“I just told myself I could do it, that I was going to be able to win it and that anything is possible and go for it,” said Deschens. “I’m just very proud of myself that I got to be in this position, that I was the reason that I was in this position.”
Choteau’s girls doubles team of Christine Funk and Michaela Gunderson have only been playing in doubles together for about two weeks. However, that short period of time was all they needed, as the Bulldog duo won the championship game over Fort Benton’s Megan Clark and Katie Giles (6-3, 4-6, 6-3).
“It was incredible because we didn’t play together that much,” Funk said. “We’d play one doubles match a tournament and that was it. And then we were like, ‘Oh let’s play (in the postseason).’ So it was kind of unreal because I felt like we were coming in as definitely an underdog because we don’t play doubles usually.”
In boys doubles, the top two seeds met in the finals: No. 1 Missoula Loyola (Jacob Hollenbach/David Ramsey) against No. 2 Great Falls Central (Nick Scott/Wyatt Walters). After the Mustangs took down the defending champion Reichenbach twins in the semifinals, Scott and Walters took the doubles state crown in three sets (6-2, 2-6, 6-1).
“It feels amazing (to win a state championship), I’ve never felt the feeling that I’ve felt today, which is to win. It was euphoric, it was a great feeling,” said Walters. “I got to thank a lot to my partner Nick, he helped carry me to this title and I wouldn’t be here without him.”
For full results from the state tournament, click here.