The volleyball match between Minot High School and Bismarck St. Mary's on Friday ended, fittingly, with the Saints rattling off five consecutive points.
In an otherwise even match, St. Mary's went on one large run in each game to put away the Majettes (25-21, 25-19, 25-19) in a West Region matchup at Magic City Campus.
The largest of the runs came in game two with the Majettes (4-7 overall, 0-4 West Region) leading 18-12. St. Mary's (5-4, 1-1) answered by winning 13 of the next 14 points to close the game.
"We just weren't able to push points and finish the game," MHS sophomore outside hitter Sophie Bengson said. "I think we kind of thought, 'Oh, we're up now so we can slack off.' We can't do that. We have to know that we have to go hard 'til 25. We can't stop at 18."
St. Mary's coach Amy Heuer said the Saints were more consistent mentally than in previous matches.
"They didn't let the excitement of being ahead get to them," she said. "They were just able to keep chugging along point by point, and just stay focused on that."
Minot led 12-11 in game one before an 8-2 St. Mary's run gave the Saints control.
St. Mary's junior outside hitter Mary Roller was often in the thick of the Saints' game-changing runs. She tallied a game-high 11 kills and served during the decisive run in game two.
"She's a strong leader for our team - very steady, we can always count on her," Heuer said. "She's our go-to gal, and the best part of it is we have so much there to back her up."
Senior Jessie Kongelf led MHS with 14 digs and Bengson added 11. Sophomore Brooke Suko served three aces.
"We just need to continue to work on our mental game," MHS coach Ellen Jebens said. "I think that we're physically a very capable team. We just need to be mentally tough."
MHS plays at Dickinson at 5 tonight. Bengson is confident the Majettes will work through their early season slump.
"I think we know that we have nothing to lose, so we are just going to go out there and have fun and play our game, and we'll pull through this," she said.