For the past week, Minot High School girls tennis coach Scott DeLorme has stressed the importance of consistent play and winning the key points that can make or break a match.
The Majettes did both in an 8-1 victory Saturday against Jamestown at Magic City Campus, snapping a three-match losing streak.
The strength of MHS' singles teams sealed the victory before doubles took the court. The Majettes (3-4 overall, 3-2 West Region) won five of six singles matches - four in straight sets. Sophomore Latasha Klein needed three sets before besting Jamestown's Anne Larson at No. 4 singles, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
Minot High School senior Megan Sherven prepares to return a shot during Saturday’s match against Jamestown at Magic City Campus.
"We've really been talking about just competing out there," DeLorme said. "Years past we've been lucky to have a deep team, but this year we're not as deep. But if we can just compete we'll be OK and I think we did a good job of that today."
Junior Ban Dodin at No. 1 singles and senior Megan Sherven at No. 2 singles both won tiebreakers during their straight-set victories, something the Majettes struggled to do in their last three matches. Dodin defeated Kara Fix, 7-6 (3), 6-2 and Sherven topped Erin Mullowney, 6-4, 7-6 (3).
"That's one thing we've been stressing, just keep battling," DeLorme said. "Whether you're up or down, regardless of the score, keep battling until the end."
Sherven's match was anything but easy as her and Mullowney fought for every point with long rallies. Sherven had a chance to close out the match leading 5-4 in the second set while serving. Trailing 15-40, Sherven rallied to force deuce, but ultimately lost the game.
Sherven and Mullowney broke each other's next serves to force the decisive tiebreak. After dropping the first point, Sherven won the next four and claimed the match when Mullowney's forehand went wide.
"I didn't want to take it into a third set like I usually do," Sherven said. "So I really had to fight and prove that I can win in two sets."
With the long rallies, Sherven said she was just looking to keep the ball between the lines and not be the one to make the unforced errors.
"I had to make sure to stay consistent," Sherven said, "and to make sure she makes mistakes and not me."
The Majettes closed out the match by sweeping doubles.
The victory over Jamestown (2-3, 2-3) moved the Majettes past the Blue Jays in the region standings. MHS has a one-match lead and holds the tiebreaker over Jamestown with the region tournament in Bismarck less than two weeks away.
"It's a big win for us for sure," DeLorme said. " ... We said today we just need to start a winning streak. They came out very focused."
The Majettes still have four regular-season matches remaining, beginning Monday at 4:15 p.m. against Williston at Magic City Campus.