A year after being voted the state coach of the year in girls tennis, Scott DeLorme may be facing his most challenging season.
DeLorme, in his fifth year with Minot High, led the Majettes to a team berth at state, had two pairs in the doubles bracket and two individuals in the singles bracket.
The Majettes graduated all-state doubles players Erin Black and Halie Hall and state doubles qualifier Danielle Foster.
Minot High School junior Ban Dodin hits a return during practice Wednesday at the Cameron Indoor Tennis Center.
"This will be a different challenge, really having a lot of girls who haven't played three-set varsity matches," DeLorme said.
The top of the singles lineup is tested and led by junior No. 1 Ban Dodin, senior No. 2 Megan Sherven and junior No. 3 Katie Wilson.
Dodin spent much of last year at No. 3 and Sherven and Wilson at Nos. 4 and 5.
Meet the Majettes
Seniors - Cally Sessions, Megan Sherven
Juniors - Ban Dodin, Kendra Collins, Katie Wilson, Emily Beck, Presley Aannerud
Sophomores - Mekenzie Hall, Latasha Klein
Seventh grader - Jenna Coggins
April - 13, Minot Round Robin at Bismarck, 9 a.m.; 15, vs. Williston, 4:15 p.m.; 16, at Dickinson, 4:30 p.m.; 23, vs. Bismarck High, 4:15 p.m.; 27, vs. West Fargo at Bismarck, 1 p.m.; 30, vs. Bismarck Century, 4:15 p.m.
May - 2, at Bismarck St. Mary's, 3:30 p.m.; 4, vs. Jamestown, 1 p.m.; 6, vs. Williston, 4:15 p.m.; 7, vs. Mandan, 4:15 p.m.; 10, at Fargo Davies, 11 a.m.; 10, at Fargo North, 2 p.m.; 11, at West Fargo tournament, 9 a.m.; 16-18, West Region Tournament at Bismarck, 10:30 a.m.; 23-25, State Tournament at Grand Forks, 1:30 p.m.
"I think the three that we have going this year are a little more ready," DeLorme said. "They've played a lot of big matches and played over the winter."
DeLorme described Dodin as one of the most skilled players in the state. He said the key for her is to improve her mental approach. Dodin will likely pair with Wilson at No. 1 doubles.
Sherven, one of two seniors on the roster, is a gritty player and proved herself with tough three-set wins last season.
"She will outwork anybody she plays against," DeLorme said. "One thing the coaches commented on last year was if things weren't going well for her, she'd outwork and outlast players.
"She's put a ton of hours in this winter and I think she's a far improved player than she was last year."
Sherven will likely play with seventh-grader Jenna Coggins at No. 2 doubles. Coggins, the daughter of Cameron Indoor Tennis Center pro Jeff Coggins, is the youngest player on the varsity roster, but already has the respect of the upperclassmen.
"She's been playing since she's been able to hold a racquet and been able to walk," Sherven said. "She can just hit the ball like she's been playing for years."
DeLorme is still working on the bottom of the lineup and will need consistency throughout if the Majettes - last year's runners-up - will challenge West Region defending champion Bismarck St. Mary's.
"Their top three is really good and their team is very deep," Dodin said of St. Mary's. "They're a difficult team and they'll give us the most trouble probably."
The East Region favorite will be 11-time defending team champion Grand Forks Red River. The Roughriders have also won the past six doubles titles (nine of the previous 10) and 10 of the past 11 singles titles.
The Majettes will start the season in the Minot Round Robin in Bismarck on Saturday. The event was moved because of unplayable conditions.