POLSON — Morgan Opp wrote the final chapter on a brilliant high school tennis career. Dillon Meyer is halfway to creating his own legacy.
Opp, of Glendive, and Meyer, of Billings Central, repeated as singles champions at the Class A State tennis meet Saturday. Opp, a senior, won her third title in four years. She did not lose a match her final two seasons.
“It means a lot,’’ she said of being the first three-time state champion for Glendive.
Weather conditions forced the tournament to be stretched across three days.
“Playing in eastern Montana, you’re used to the cold and the wind. It’s more of an advantage,’’ Opp said.
It is the second straight state championship for Meyer, only a sophomore.
The Ram boys, with second- and sixth-place finishes in doubles, shared the team title with Polson, each finishing with 34 points.
“We got it,’’ said Mary K. Housinger, the Central boys coach. “The Polson coach graciously gave us the trophy to take home. They’ll get a duplicate.
“This team was focused all season. They had a plan. They wanted to win divisionals and win state. I tried to keep it one match at a time, but they had their plan. They worked hard all season and pushed each other every day in practice.”
Corvallis won the girls team title, edging Glendive by three points, 28-25. Billings Central was third.
Meyer, who went unchallenged in the tournament, defeated Polson’s Dylan McCrumb 6-2, 6-0 in the championship match which also pulled the Rams even in the final team standings.
“He’s gotten taller and stronger and could really crank on the ball this year,’’ Housinger said of Meyer. “And mentally, he got stronger. He didn’t get rattled. If it was a bad point, he would do a little shadow swing and give a little clap.
“He stayed super focused all year long.”
The Central doubles teams of John Knisely and Harrison Fagg finished second, losing to defending champions Bridger Walczynski and D.J. Pekoc of Corvallis. Tommy Pankratz and Jake Newbury also finished sixth in doubles for the Rams.
Along with Meyer, Knisely, Pankratz and Newbury are sophomores, while Fagg is a freshman.
“They’re already talking about next year,’’ Housinger said.
A patient Opp defeated freshman Barclay Fagg of Central 6-0, 6-1 in the girls’ singles championship match.
Opp cruised through the singles bracket for her third title.
“I was kind of nervous, but not as nervous as I usually am,’’ she said. “Once I get on the court, I’m fine. When I played Barclay, I moved her around the court and hit my shots that I normally make. I stayed patient.
“I really wanted to do well for my team.”
Jordan Johnson placed fifth in singles for the Red Devils, while Nichole Burman and Ellen Carbajal were sixth in doubles for the Glendive girls. Eloise Germic and Becca Shipp of Central placed fourth in doubles, while Katie McCleary and Hannah Ware of Hardin were fifth.
Opp will take her game to Montana State Billings next year. In a small twist of fate, she now becomes teammates with Mary Conwell, the last person to beat Opp in a high school match. Opp gained her revenge by defeating Conwell last year for the championship.
“I’ve already started talking to her,’’ Opp said.