BILLINGS — As soon as Annie Woods lost in the doubles championship match at the 2018 State AA tennis tournament, the planning started.
“Last year after state, we talked about it and said it would actually be really fun if we could play doubles together,” said Woods.
Woods’ partner Makenzy Gilsdorf was graduating, so she needed a new one for her senior year, and it just so happened longtime friend Gigi Montague was sick of singles.
“Singles is just so mentally brutal,” Montague said. “You’re just out there bare. I like the aspect of doubles where you have a partner to resemble your energy.”
Woods couldn’t agree more. This is what she looks for in a doubles partner.
“What Gigi’s got,” Woods said with a laugh. “Just someone who has fun and doesn’t sweat the small things — that’s what Gigi does. A strong player, great groundstrokes, just overall a fantastic player.”
Put two of those together, and you get an undefeated season complete with a state championship, though you wouldn’t have known it based on their reactions after the final point last Friday.
“The boys coach, he videoed the final point and he was like, ‘You guys didn’t jump or yell or anything,'” Montague said.
“I went in for a hug, as it usually goes,” said Woods. “And then she was giving me a high-five, and I thought, ‘OK, we’ll give high-fives.’ And she’s like, ‘Oh, we’ll give hugs.’ Then I was like, ‘It’s too late now,’ so we shook hands and called it good.”
And maybe it was because Montague knew what happened the last time she got a little too excited – about 20 minutes before the final match.
“I was a little bit of a nervous wreck before the finals,” the junior admitted. “I threw up in my lunch box.”
“She’s laying down, and I’m like, ‘Oh no. Not deja vu from divisionals,'” Woods worried.
Montague did the same thing against the same team a week before in the Eastern AA divisional championship before rallying to win 6-1, 6-0. So guess what happened Friday?
“I took some TUMS and I think it was Pepto Bismol — I was just taking whatever my mom gave me,” Montague said. “I got out on the court and felt fine.”
“I was thinking, ‘Oh no, we don’t have to forfeit this, do we? The state championship?'” Woods admitted. “But she pulled it through, got some Pepto Bismol. But, yeah, I was definitely a little freaked out.”
It was another 6-1, 6-0 win, a fitting end to a pairing they won’t soon forget.
“I’m going to cry so much when we have our banquet,” Montague said.
That’s a much better outlet.