Landon Klein tends to flash an entertaining mixture of smiles when on the tennis court.
Sometimes it's a proud, toothy show of relief following an especially pleasing point in a long rally.
Other times it's a tight-lipped grin of self-mockery following a play he knows he could have executed but didn't.
Minot High School senior Landon Klein returns a shot from Bismarck Century junior Sam Mastel on Tuesday at Magic City Campus. Mastel beat Klein 7-6 (7-2), 7-5, but MHS won the dual 6-3.
The Minot High School senior and No. 2 player couldn't even contain a grin after falling to Bismarck Century junior Sam Mastel 7-6 (7-2), 7-5 on Tuesday at Magic City Campus.
"I guess I let it get to my head," Klein said. "But (Mastel's) a competitor and next time I'll get him."
Klein's optimism was key to the Magicians' first team win over the Patriots (3-1 West Region) since 2008. He shook off the singles loss and paired with senior Lane Vendsel for the most definitive of three doubles wins for MHS (3-0).
The senior tandem beat eighth-grader Brian Swanberg and senior Evan Warren 6-0, 6-3.
"It's just Landon," MHS senior and No. 1 Hunter Oothoudt said. "That's the only way I can explain it. He's a good player, he gives it his all. He's out there sprinting the whole time, he just never gives up on a point. It's just good attitude is what it is."
Said MHS coach Scott DeLorme: "That's just Landon's personality. He doesn't really let anything faze him win or lose."
The match was tied at 3-3 following singles play, but MHS cruised through Nos. 1 and 2 doubles to clinch the win.
Oothoudt, who avenged a Minot Round Robin loss to Century sophomore Joe Janes with a 6-1, 6-1 win in singles, played with sophomore Dustin Foster for a 6-2, 6-3 doubles win.
At No. 3 doubles, MHS junior Isaac Massey and senior Jordin Gardner recovered from their own singles losses for a three-set win over Century eighth-grader Casey Beck and junior Grant Ehli.
"I think it's good for the boys," DeLorme said. "You could tell beforehand and they came to me and said it's been since 2008. We still have some work to do and hopefully we can take some things from this match."
MHS plays at Williston in a 4-3 format beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday.