Divisional tennis begins tomorrow with singles and doubles players looking for their birth to the state tournament. One of the best doubles teams in the state resides in Missoula, in Big Sky's Colin Bahin and Aaron Koerner.
"You can put together two really good tennis players, and ifthey don't click they aren't going to be successful on the court, On the otherside you can have players who wind up being greater than the sum of theirparts, and I think that as good of individual players both these guys are, it'sreally a case of that," says Big Sky head coach Gordon Terpe.
Chemistry plays a big role in doubles…and despite the twoyear age gap between Koerner and Ban…they do have some history together.
"I've lived in that neighborhood my whole life, and no onehas ever played tennis in that neighborhood. In the fourth grade, they moved in, and I went to clinicswith them, and it wasn't until last year that I started hitting with them, andhe lives what would be two city blocks away, so that just helps a lot," says Big Sky senior Koerner
"We have a good chemistry together, mainly due to the factthat he's my neighbor and we hit over at his court over the season in hisbackyard, which is pretty convenient," says Big Sky Sophomore Bahin.
Collin has an older brother Riley who he played some doubleswith last year, and instead of the brothers playing together this season, Rileyhas become the number one singles player.
"He's (Riley) stepped into the role really well for thisseason. He's been very supportiveof his brother and Aaron, and they are all a pretty close group when we are atpractice and matches, so I've been really happy with the team dynamic," says Terpe.
With a State championship firmly in their sights, the bigsky duo credit their relationship to much of their success.
"Being friends helps a lot, just because we aren't bickeringwith each other. I know freshmanyear I played with someone I wasn't really friends with, and that didn'thelp. And knowing our strengthstogether, we can play off of that, and it helps out a lot," says Koerner.
"We never get down on each other, it's always positive,always say positive things to each other, so it's hard to get down on yourself,and we have a great mental attitude on the court, which sets us apart fromother teams in the state," says Bahin.